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Dispensing Hope

January 5, 2009

Whatcha got there in the bottom of your barrel?  languishing at the back of your warehouse?  collecting dust in your company closet?  You know…the stuff you can’t sell…?

Dispensary of Hope

According to Gail Kerr at The Tennessean, while cleaning out the closet of his medical practice in Murfreesboro, Tennessee a few years ago, Dr. Bruce Wolf discovered mere leftovers:  expired medicine samples.  But this time, rather than dump them, Wolf experienced revulsion.  Too many samples that could have helped someone, even saved some lives, were being wasted.

So Wolf acted.  First, he started sending 10% of his samples (that would be a tithe to us Christians) to a clinic.  Then, he accumulated enough drugs to start a community pharmacy.  Then in 2003 he started a nonprofit–Dispensary of Hope:

a “network of dispensing sites, sourcing partners and financial partners that assist people without prescription drug coverage. The network provides short-term and long-term assistance to those under 200 percent of the poverty line.” (Dispensary of Hope website homepage)

Today, according to Kerr,

  • 781 physicians donate pharmaceutical samples, now totaling over $18 million dollars in value.  (Check out this Dispensary of Hope web page to see a snapshot of the extraordinary sophistication of the program.)
  • 14 dispensary sites are up and running (including some inside hospitals), and 29 more are on plan. Sites are now open in Louisiana and Alabama.
  • Delivered a 20 to 1 Return on Investment back to the community.

So here’s my question:  

What “stuff” is going to waste in your business that, with a little love and ingenuity, could change the world?


© David P. Leach and Consequential Value, 2009

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