Teva donates portfolio of mental health treatments to US states
Teva will work in conjunction with Direct Relief, and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to ensure access to the donated medicines.
According to the partners, the provided medicines are valued at over $17m (€15.4m). In addition, Teva has committed $2m of grant funding over two years to free and charitable clinics that care for uninsured patients.
The medicines will be made available to free and charitable clinics and pharmacies in Direct Relief’s network. The seven new states that will be served by the medicine donation program will be Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
The program itself was launched in June 2022, and started with three pilot states: Florida, New Jersey, and California.
As a result of the expansion, 650,000 uninsured patients will be covered through more than 400 free and charitable clinics. In terms of why the states were chosen, the partners stated that the decision was made by determining the potential impact of unmet medical need, and the presence of a network of clinics in each state.
In explaining the urgency facing the treatment of mental health conditions, the partners cited research by the World Health Organization that outlined the COVID-19 pandemic had triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.
It was also noted that a third of adults in the US show symptoms of anxiety, depression, or both. More than 5.5 million adults with a mental health condition are not insured, and a third of all adults with a mental illness reported they were not able to receive the treatment they required. Racial minorities have been found to experience higher rates of depression and anxiety, with depression reportedly 15 to 23 times more prevalent for those who identify as Black, Hispanic, or Asian.
“Since the pandemic began, addressing mental health has continued to be a priority for our clinic. With these donations, we have been able to increase access to medications that treat anxiety and depression for the uninsured or underinsured members of our community, generating both progress and a sense of hope,” said Fred Bauermeister, executive director at Free Clinic of Simi Valley, in California.
Earlier this year, NAFC announced that its network of clinics had been visited by 5.8 million patients in 2022. Of those individuals, 93% were without insurance, and the remaining patients simply could not afford care, despite having insurance.