APA-Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access Executive Director Sarah Reinhart is joined by staff, Chamber Ambassadors and community supporters to cut the ceremonial ribbon.
APA-Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access Executive Director Sarah Reinhart is joined by staff, Chamber Ambassadors and community supporters to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

We recently welcomed Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access, Inc. (APA) to the Chamber with a ribbon cutting! Located at 506 E Plaza Drive, Suite 5 in Santa Maria, the local non-profit has been in Santa Maria since 2004.

“What we do is we help people who have coverage gaps get the medications that they need,” explained Sarah Reinhart, Executive Director for APA.

The non-profits’ initial focus was to help the uninsured, but Reinhart says they really want to help anyone who cannot afford the healthcare they need.

“Whether they’re on Medicare and have the Part D coverage gap, or if they simply cannot afford their out of pocket expenses, we really are here to help everyone,” Reinhart said. “Because we know even people who may have some form of health insurance can’t necessarily afford the medications they need.”

APA helps their clients reduce the costs of their medications through copay relief programs and using generics when they are available. Their main goal is to enroll patients directly into patient assistance programs, which are offered through the different pharmaceutical companies.

18953451_10158941157465554_1903626147964206658_o“Our advocates help people through the process of enrolling in these assistance programs, which can actually be somewhat difficult to enroll in,” Reinhard said. “Our community here is really in need of these assistance programs, and we’re happy to help get people enrolled so they can get more affordable medications that they need.”

Reinhart says that the cost of pharmaceuticals has risen rapidly in the past few years, and with that people’s out of pocket costs have also skyrocketed. “Even those who are covered by some insurance may not be able to afford these out of pocket costs,” she said. “And that’s where we come in.”

The staff at APA-Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access poses for a photo outside their office.
The staff at APA-Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access poses for a photo outside their office.

Recently, APA helped a client who had arthritis whose treatment cost $27,000. “This was a young man who almost lost his ability to walk because he has such a debilitating disease and wasn’t able to afford the treatment he needed,” Reinhart explained. “And we see that all the time. We see people who have Hep C and their treatments are astronomical…those are the people we’re here to help. We’re happy when we can make a big difference, especially in cases where getting the treatment is so crucial to a client’s well being.”

APA is funded thanks to their partnership with Marian Regional Medical Center and other organizations, as well as grants and in kind donations. “We really wouldn’t be able to do the work we do without our donors,” Reinhart said. If you are interested in donating, volunteering or simply learning more about the services APA provides, you can call (805) 614-2040 or visiting their website at http://www.apameds.org.

Watch the video interview below to hear more from Executive Director  Sarah Reinhart about the local non-profit. We are thrilled to have Alliance for Pharmaceutical Access, Inc. as valued Chamber members!