Campaign to help those in need of medicines starts today in 600 pharmacies

The 11th edition of this solidarity initiative runs until May 29th

The “Give change to those who need it” campaign starts this Monday, May 20th, in around 600 pharmacies across the country that will “invite users” to donate the change from their purchases to help those most in need to buy medicines. .

The 11th edition of this solidarity initiative runs until May 29th and, during this period, any citizen can make a donation to the abem Program: Rede Solidária do Medicamento, from Associação Dignitude, which has already supported more than 36 thousand beneficiaries.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, Maria João Toscano, executive director of Associação Dignitude, said that the population's support for this campaign has remained "very constant", with the average donation value increasing slightly to 70 cents (plus around 10 cents) than in the last campaign in December 2023 and in relation to previous years.

In the last campaign, around 21 thousand euros were raised, he said, explaining that all donations are aggregated into the Abem solidarity fund, which is “audited with complete transparency”, and whose sole mission is to reimburse medicines to those in need.

The association emphasizes that the Abem program: aims to allow “dignified access to prescribed medicines for those who do not have the financial capacity to purchase them, covering, in the prescription, the amount not reimbursed by the State”.

To do this, the beneficiary has access to the abem: Card, simply presenting it at a pharmacy to be able to purchase the reimbursed medicines prescribed to them, at no cost to them.

«Sometimes a few cents are enough for us to ensure that these most vulnerable people can access their medicines, control their illness and actually have more dignity and better health», he highlighted.

Maria João Toscano said that the program is spread across the country, but explained that it only enters a certain region of the country with the support of a local partner, which could be a private social solidarity institution (IPSS) or a local authority.

«At the moment we are in 169 municipalities and we have 191 local entities that are our partners, which are the entities that, in proximity, can identify the most vulnerable families that are part of the Abem program:», he said.

The association's executive director appealed to the Portuguese to participate in this campaign, making a donation at their pharmacy or by MB WAY or bank transfer.

According to the Sustainable Health Index developed by Nova Information Management School, one in 10 Portuguese people did not buy prescribed medicines because they did not have the money to pay for them.

The beneficiaries of this program are citizens who are in a situation of proven socioeconomic need, referred by local partner entities, such as local authorities, IPSS, Cáritas and Misericórdias that are part of a collaborative network.

abem: is present throughout the country, including autonomous regions, and is based on a network of partnerships that ensures the medicine’s solidarity circuit.

Founding members of Dignitude were António Arnaut, António Ramalho Eanes, Francisco Carvalho Guerra, João Gonçalves da Silveira, João Cordeiro, Maria de Belém Roseira, Odette Santos Ferreira and Ana Paula Martins.