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September 22, 2023

LHC Industry Tour Features Nation’s Largest Domestic Distributor of Surplus Medications

LHC Industry Tour Features Nation’s Largest Domestic Distributor of Surplus Medications
by Nashville Health Care Council | Apr 30, 2014

Nearly 60 members of Leadership Health Care visited the
Dispensary of Hope Tuesday, April 28, for a tour of the nation’s largest charitable medication distributor.

The organization brings surplus medications from manufacturers, distributors and providers to charitable clinics and pharmacies serving the poor and uninsured. The Dispensary distributes to 80 access sites, including federally-qualified health centers, free clinics, charitable pharmacies, outpatient pharmacies and project access networks.

The Dispensary has built a network of more than 1,300 physicians in 40 states who regularly donate medications using the Hope Box program. The program makes it easy for physicians to donate, reducing the estimated $2.2 billion worth of sample medications that go to waste each year. Palombo and his team also work with drug manufacturers and distributors who donate short-dated and first-line products.

Chris Palombo, Dispensary of Hope’s CEO, welcomed LHC members and shared the history of the organization. The distribution center grew from the idea of a local allergist, Dr. Bruce Wolf, who realized the possibilities for unused, unexpired sample medications. In 2007, Saint Thomas Health teamed up with Wolf to draft a business model that would become the Dispensary of Hope.

Local educational institutions Belmont University and Lipscomb University have made the Dispensary of Hope a part of their pharmaceutical curriculum. Pharmacy students serve as interns for the organization and assist in sorting the medications that come in from donors.

Industry tours are part of Leadership Health Care’s regular programming for members.  LHC also hosts executive briefings, a Fundamentals educational series, networking receptions and an annual delegation to Washington, D.C. To learn more about Leadership Health Care and upcoming programs, visit

Leadership Health Care was formed in 2002 as an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council to foster the next generation of health care leaders.

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