A message from our Executive Director
D ear Friends,
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I pray this a happy and joyous occasion for you and your family.
We have continued to find new ways to serve our community, expanding our services to Washington County, Alabama. This expansion was much needed in south Alabama, specifically noting the closures of rural hospitals throughout the United States. Recently, the Alabama Hospital Association, documented the closure of Georgiana Medical Center in Georgiana, Alabama on March 31, 2019. This hospital will become the thirteenth Alabama hospital to close in eight years, including seven rural hospitals. This is why it is so critical that Alabama take advantage of Medicaid expansion, a move that would provide insurance to an estimated 340,000 Alabamians.
On a sad note, Saturday, March 9th, our pharmacy was broken into and someone stole our donation box. The donation box was unique because it contained donations from patients giving back to help other patients. It was about $120 in the box. More serious, the person broke our commercial glass front door. The person or persons who burglarized the pharmacy took a huge boulder and smashed the door. The door company estimate that the door will cost $2,200. As you could imagine it was vital that we were expedient in repairing. Yet, with a $5000 insurance deductible, we will receive no relief to fix the door.
Our pharmacy is a free pharmacy that serves as a medication safety net to the most vulnerable of our community. $2,200 equals 48 patients receiving a one-month supply of medication. Senseless acts like this cost charitable organization like ours more than replacing a door, a donation can and fixing locks. It cost our ability to serve those in most need.
After the break in, our local news stations covered the story and we have been blessed with donations from all over the area donating to our pharmacy. We want to thank each and all that helped us. Without your help it would be impossible to continue our positive impact. Please pray for the person or persons who would do such a thing.
In this issue, we have an article on the history of St. Patrick's Day. This story is very educational and I think you will enjoy the read. Next, you will meet one of our Staff Pharmacist, Mr. Clifton Shaw that has been with us for over eight years. In addition, we have an article on Americans finding cheaper medication in Mexico.
Please don't forget to save the date for our 2nd Annual "Jazz and Cocktails... Rx for a Cause" held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 . Tickets are currently for sale at $35.00 per person and $65.00 for couples. You can purchase your tickets at the pharmacy or at the door of Azalea Manor. Ther e is a link below to click and email us for ticket purchases.
Lastly, Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy has embraced and nurtured those who seek our care. We have a sole mission – to provide medication to the under-insured for the needs of the community. Ozanam is committed to the highest of values, striving to be a place of enduring quality and caring experiences. Donors and volunteers such as you, make our compassionate mission possible to enhance the quality of health and life.

Shearie Archer
 Executive Director
Photo courtesy: Tenaysha Carroll
Who Was St. Patrick?
He wasn't Irish, but he found his faith while being held as prisoner by a group of Irish raiders.
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. But for all of his prevalence in culture, namely the holiday held on the  day of his death  that bears his name, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. 

Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are  false , the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

St. Patrick  was born in Britain —not Ireland—to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. 

At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) 
During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to  Christianity  during his captivity).

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. 

Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

St. Patrick Was Never Canonized as a Saint

He may be known as the patron saint of Ireland, but Patrick was never actually canonized by the Catholic Church. This is simply due to the era he lived in. During the first millennium, there was no formal canonization process in the Catholic Church. After becoming a priest and helping to spread Christianity throughout Ireland, Patrick was likely proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim.

Charitable Pharmacy broken into, thieves take donation money
By: Toi Thornton, Fox 10 News
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy was broken into Saturday March 9th. According to the workers, a thief broke through the front door and got in.
"Early Saturday morning we get a phone call about 1:30 am that we had a glass break from our alarm company," said Executive Director Shearie Archer. "I knew that was going to be a problem so we arrived there and sure enough there was a big boulder that was thrown through our commercial front glass on our building that smashed the glass completely."

Archer said someone threw a large piece of concrete or rock through the front glass door shattering it. She said the thief went into the building and broke the donation box taking about $120 from it.

Losing the $120 is upsetting because Archer says patients donated that money. But what's worse is the damage done. Archer said the amount to replace the door could cost about $2200 causing sort of a ripple effect for them.

"The consequences of somebody doing a senseless act like that is us taking away from our budget which is equivalent to 48 patients getting 1 month of medication at no cost,"Ozanam serves close to 1700 people a year from Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, and Escambia Counties. Archer said the amount of medication they give away a year adds up to more than 2.8 million dollars.

"Many of our patients work 2 and 3 jobs but can't afford healthcare. They can't afford the high cost of premium. They make too much to get medicaid. So what we do is we provide medication at no cost for uninsured individuals," she explained. When FOX 10's General Manager, Gary Yoder, heard the story, he decided to personally give back. From his own pocket, he donated the $120 that was stolen, back to Ozanam.

If you'd like to join Yoder in donating, Click the "I want to donate" button below or you can visit the office and leave cash or a check. Our address is 109. S. Cedar St. Mobile, AL 36602. If you have any questions, please call 251.721.0458. Thank you.

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station).
All Rights Reserved.  

Photo courtesy: Shearie Archer
Mr. Clifton Eugene Shaw
Staff Pharmacist
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy
M r. Clifton Shaw has been with Ozanam since 2011. Clifton is native of Clarksdale, Mississippi to sharecropper parents. He is a graduate of Xavier University, College of Pharmacy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy. He continued his studies at Auburn University, The University of Tennessee, The University of Arkansas and The University of Mississippi.
Clifton has been married to Sara Patrick Shaw for 45 years. They have three daughters, three granddaughters and two grandsons. He has one younger brother.

What do like most about Ozanam Pharmacy? "I really love the people I work with and the relaxed atmosphere (you can have fun while you work)."
Do you have any pets? "We have one pet, a one-year old black Labrador Retriever named Knight."
What is your favorite meal? "Breakfast! And the one I enjoy cooking for my family."
What do you like to do for fun? "I really have fun with my grand kids when I am engaged with them in any activity, on any level"
What is your favorite movie? "Black Panther. And of course, my favorite book is the Holy Bible."
What has been your most unusual or interesting job? "Working for the Mobile County Sheriff Department Reserves for twelve years. In addition to doing patrols and escorts, I was elected Chaplin of my unit."
Photo Courtesy: Tenaysha Carroll
Third committee meeting scheduled Thursday, March 21st @ 3:00 pm!
"Jazz and Cocktails... An Rx for a Cause" Spring fundraiser will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 5:30 pm until 9:00 pm at Azalea Manor.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event our third planning meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21st starting @ 3:00 pm at Ozanam Pharmacy, 109 S. Cedar St. Mobile, AL 36602. This meeting will go over the event, duties, sponsorship, etc.

We are also looking for dedicated volunteers to work at the pharmacy front desk.

For more information, click on the "I want to volunteer" button below. Thank you!
MAY 16, 2019

American travelers seek cheaper prescription drugs in Mexico and beyond

When Michelle Fenner signed up to run this year's Los Angeles Marathon, it got her thinking: Tijuana, Mexico, is only a 2 1/2-hour drive from LA. Why not take a trip across the border and buy some insulin for her son?

"It's so easy to just go across the border," Fenner mused.
This idea had been in the back of Fenner's mind for a while. Her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nine years ago, meaning he needs daily injections of insulin to stay alive. The list price of the modern generation of insulin has skyrocketed since then. On one trip to the pharmacy last year, Fenner was told that a three-month supply of insulin would cost her $3,700.
That same supply would cost only about $600 in Mexico.
So when she booked her trip to Los Angeles, Fenner says, "I decided we need to update our passports and go and get more insulin."

Fenner is  not the only one  thinking like this. The U.S. government  estimates  that close to 1 million people in California alone cross to Mexico annually for health care, including to buy prescription drugs. And between 150,000 and 320,000 Americans list health care as a reason for traveling abroad each year. Cost savings is the most commonly cited reason.

'Right to Shop' legislation

In Utah last year, the Public Employee Health Plan took this idea to a new level with its voluntary  Pharmacy Tourism Program . For certain PEHP members who use  any of 13  costly prescription medications — including the popular arthritis drug Humira — the insurer will foot the bill to fly the patient and a companion to San Diego, then drive them to a hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, to pick up a 90-day supply of medicine.
"The average cost of an eligible drug in the US is over $4,500 per month and is 40-60% less in Mexico," PEHP Clinical Services Director Travis Tolley said in an announcement of the program last October.

The program was part of a  Right to Shop  bill championed by health care economist and Utah state representative Norm Thurston in 2018. Thurston says there is not yet enough data to know how much in savings the program provides; the first patients traveled to Tijuana in December.

But, Thurston says, he expects that in the next six months, savings will likely be "in the ballpark of $1 million."
There are some questions about traveling abroad to buy prescription drugs, however. The first: Is it legal?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "in most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use." But the agency's website does  provide guidance  about when it could be allowed. And the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's website has a  whole section  on traveling with medications in its "Know Before You Go" guide.

While the guidelines may still leave you with questions, Thurston says this sort of purchase for personal use is a widely established practice. "When we talked to people about this, there has never been a single person who has been prosecuted for doing it. And it happens every day at every border crossing all over the country," Thurston says.

"The general understanding is you can bring up to a 90-day supply of a prescription from overseas, even though it's a technical violation," says  Nathan Cortez , a law professor at Southern Methodist University. 

"My sense is the FDA does not want to worry about individuals going overseas and bringing back small amounts of prescriptions that last a few months," Cortez says, adding, "That doesn't mean the FDA couldn't change its mind at any point and start cracking down."

A second major concern that comes up in any discussion of medical tourism is about the quality of that imported medicine. According to the FDA, the reason it's mostly illegal to import drugs is because the agency "cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness" of those drugs. In 2017, the World Health Organization  estimated that 10 percent of drugs in developing countries were either substandard or falsified.

To address that problem, the Utah program sends its patients only to a designated, accredited Mexican hospital. Individual patients like Michelle Fenner are left to take their own precautions.

"You get a little nervous. You want to make sure that you have a reputable pharmacy," Fenner says. To get pharmacy recommendations, she has been consulting with friends and acquaintances who have purchased insulin in Mexico. She's calling those pharmacies now to make sure they have the type of insulin she wants to buy. When the marathon gets closer, she's planning to call ahead with her order.

Fenner says the amount she's expecting to save on insulin could warrant multiple trips to Mexico every year.

Global savings

Fenner is just one of the growing number of activists online who are discussing the great lengths they go to — sometimes literally — to afford insulin. Lija Greenseid is another. Her daughter has Type 1 diabetes.

Almost one year to the day after her daughter's diagnosis, Greenseid and her family were visiting Quebec City, Canada, in July 2014. Her daughter's blood sugar started spiking and Greenseid feared her insulin might have gone bad, so she went to a pharmacy. With no prescription and fearing that her daughter's life was on the line, Greenseid was prepared to pay a fortune.
Instead the box of insulin pens that normally costs $700 in the U.S. was only around $65 or so.

"At that point I started tearing up. I could not believe how inexpensive it was and how easy it was," Greenseid says.
"I said to [the pharmacist], 'Do you have any idea what it's like to get insulin in the United States? It's just so much more expensive.' And he turned to me and said, 'Why would we want to make it difficult? You need insulin to live.' "

The more Greenseid traveled with her family, the more they realized how inexpensive insulin was everywhere except in the United States. In Nuremberg, Germany, she could get that $700 box of insulin pens for $73. The same box was $57 in Tel Aviv, Israel, $51 in Greece, $61 in Rome and $40 in Taiwan.
"We get so accustomed in the United States to thinking that health care has to be difficult and so expensive that people don't even consider the fact that it could be so much easier and less expensive in other places," Greenseid says. "In fact, that is the case in most countries."
Copyright 2019 Side Effects Public Media. To see more, visit  Side Effects Public Media .
Happy Birthday to our volunteers!

Ellen McCarron
(Front desk)
March 11

Emil Graf
(Front Desk)
April 20

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. — Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." -Ephesians 4:32.

D ear fiends,
Did you know that you can donate to Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy in remembrance or in honor of a friend or loved one?
We fondly remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. This simple gesture of LOVE can be a thoughtful way to express how much that person meant to you. Just click on the "In Memory" button below and the link will take you directly to the Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy website to give what is in your heart.

Thank you,
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy
251.432.4111 (office)
251.445.0981 (fax)
Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.