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.

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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