RoundtableRx: Matching medications to Minnesotans in need
A nonprofit delivers unused medications to Minnesotans in need—for free.
“For me it was a very emotional moment, a big moment,” says Rowan Mahon (MPH, MHI ’19; PharmD ’20) of the day in late April when RoundtableRx, a nonprofit startup created by students at the U of M’s College of Pharmacy, delivered its first medications to Minnesotans in need—completely free of charge.
“We’ve worked so hard, so many hours, so much time, so much money, so many people have had to come together to believe in this, and we can finally help someone,” says Mahon.
It was both a culmination and the next chapter for a project that began several years earlier, when Mahon took the Pharmacy College Admissions Test and read an article in the exam about statewide medication repositories.
“It took me about a year to realize that Minnesota didn’t have one, and from there we began working to do that,” she says.
Today Mahon is a pharmacist in the Twin Cities, as well as the founder and managing director of RoundtableRx, Minnesota’s first and only statewide medication repository.
By collaborating with the state’s largest long-term care facilities, RoundtableRx safely redistributes unused, unexpired medications to more than 200 Minnesota hospitals and clinics.
About $2 billion in medications are thrown away every year in the United States, with about $16 million of that in Minnesota.
1 in 3
Meanwhile, a third of Minnesotans struggle to afford prescription medications. And while 21 states have medication repositories, Minnesota wasn’t one of them until the launch of RoundtableRx.