Alumni Dispense Medicine to the Poor in Peru

Story posted March 22, 2012

In the last two years since Michael Barish 11 and Mark Oppenheim 11 co-founded a small non-profit pharmacy in the Andes of southeastern Peru, they have served about 1,000 patients and reached about 800 more on weekly medical campaigns into rural areas.

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Prescription for Peace partners Mario Diaz Ugarte, Michael Barish '11 and Mark Oppenheim '11

Barish and Oppenheim opened the Prescriptions for Peace pharmacy in Cusco, a city of 358,000, with a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace, a foundation funded by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis to support the grassroots projects of college students. Barish and Oppenheim raised an additional $6,000 to refurbish a small building to house their pharmacy, which they open two days a week with help from other volunteers and a licensed pharmacist, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.

In a country where pharmaceutical mark-ups can be as high as 400 to 500 percent, Prescriptions for Peace buys generic drugs and sells them at cost on a sliding scale, treating common regional illnesses such as those associated with malnutrition or intestinal problems caused by Giardia. Davis Projects for Peace grants are coordinated through Bowdoin Career Planning.

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