Free Medications Program

Background and Need: Adherence to medications is complex multifactorial behavioral process and financial factors are one of the barriers for poor adherence to the use of medicines in chronic diseases. The cost of medicines can be the difference between being able to make ends meet or to being able to afford food or not. Research indicates that Patients who receive free medications are more likely to report their overall improvement in care and are able to afford other necessities of life1.

Assessment: Patients suffering with chronic health conditions (DM, HTN, CAD) were noted to have difficult time with compliance and procurement of medication, this was especially compounded during COVID-19 Pandemic. Project started in April 2019. 430 poor patients suffering from different chronic diseases were given free medications until Nov 2022.

Aim: The aim is to improve access of patients suffering from chronic diseases, improve the compliance and hence outcomes in this subset of patients.

Implementing Partner: Help Poor Voluntary Trust (HPVT)

Start Date: 2021

Design: KASMER collaborated with the existing project of HPVT “Free Medication for poor people” with the aim of improving access, compliance, and outcomes in patients of humble economic background suffering from chronic diseases. Due diligence in the process of patient selection is done by HPVT management taking into consideration diagnosis, consultant prescription and verification of economic status of the family.

Personnel assigned to the project: Nil

Numbers/Key Performance Indicators

Assessment of the impact:  Impact is very positive on the society in general with the recognition among people about the importance of project and its impact on wellbeing of population.

Current status:  Project is ongoing with poor patients getting free medications for different chronic diseases. Lot of under-privileged patients and social organizations from other districts of Kashmir suffering from chronic diseases approach regularly to support them with the program of free/low price medications. Expanding the program to others districts is definitely going to impact lives of the needy people.

  1. Health Policy Plan.2015 Oct; 30(8): 1044–1052.Published online 2014 Sep 24. doi: 1093/heapol/czu107

International Health, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 30 38,