50 million Americans cannot afford to pay for the medication that has been prescribed to them. Meanwhile, $5 billion worth of prescription drugs are incinerated or thrown away each year – and another $2 billion worth sit on doctors’ shelves until they expire. SIRUM, a nonprofit operating out of Stanford is ready to change that.
Using innovative technology, SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine) connects unopened, unexpired medications to low-income patients. When drug donation facilities, pharmacies, nursing homes and clinics upload data to SIRUM about their medication surpluses and needs, the software matches the donor to recipient clinics with patients in need, without third-party impediments.
The matching process goes as follows:
- Care facilities stop destroying medications and upload information about their stock.
- Recipient clinics upload a list of medications to create a “formulary” of their commonly prescribed drugs.
- SIRUM’s patent-pending technology platform finds matches.
- Medicine is sent directly to the recipient clinic. SIRUM handles all shipping logistics and medications arrive within 2-3 days.
By acting as a safety net that allows care facilities to donate medications rather than have them destroyed, SIRUM is filling a serious gap in the healthcare system – and it has the potential to saves lives. Since its launch in 2011, SIRUM has redistributed $3 million worth of medication that would otherwise be wasted to 20,000 patients in need.