South Side pharmacist helps fill prescription void as drug stores remain closed

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A local independent pharmacy on Chicago's South Side is stepping up to provide a lifeline to people who are having trouble getting medications as their neighborhood drug stores remain closed.

Valerie Lasley started to worry when she couldn't get access to her local pharmacy.

"I had an issue getting my prescription because our pharmacy, Jewel Osco, was destroyed," she said.

Lasley has high blood pressure, so taking her medication every day is critical.

"It's very critical. I need it. My life depends on me having my prescription. Blood pressure is your heart, so I definitely need to have it," she said. "And when I called another Jewel Osco, they said their server was down so they couldn't' actually pull the prescription up."

She's not alone. The ABC7 I-Team has heard from several people, mainly on the city's South Side, who are struggling to get their medication. As major drug store chains remain closed until further notice, a small family-owned South Side business is coming to the rescue.

"It made me feel sad. It made me feel like I needed to do something," said Sherman White, owner of 200 Pharmacy.

White put together a plan and changed his entire business model to help serve his community.

"We're a custom compounding pharmacy, so we do customized medications," he explained. "We take those patients that have tried a lot of different means for treating their condition and for some reason they didn't work."

200 Pharmacy is now filling prescriptions for chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes and hypertension.

"Having a purpose in life is a great feeling and being able to be a blessing to others is a huge feeling, and sometimes I can't sleep at night because I'm excited about getting up in the morning to help people," White said.

White said people in need shouldn't have to worry about the cost.

"We do take Medicare and Medicaid and more of the private insurances for prescriptions. So your co-pays are going to be the same," he said.

200 Pharmacy has partnered with local organizations across the city to help with prescription payment and transportation. They said it's a heavy lift, but they're grateful to serve the community.
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