CHARLOTTE — Knowing just how expensive it can be to stay healthy, North Carolina MedAssist is continuing its push to help those in need stay well without having to go to the doctor.

On Saturday, they held their monthly over-the-counter drug giveaway, allowing anyone claiming financial hardship to show up and select everything from pain relievers to vitamins and even first aid supplies and then take them home for free.  

“For a lot of people, walking into a drugstore is not an option because they just don't have the five or six dollars or eight or nine dollars it may take to have the cold medicine,” said Lori Giang, executive director of NC MedAssist.

MedAssist says the drugs they give away at this monthly event can often mean the difference between a trip to the hospital and staying at home.

“A bottle of Tylenol can keep people out of the emergency room.  Medicaid does not support over-the-counter medicines,” said Giang. 

MedAssist estimates they served 400 people at Saturday’s event, distributing about $20,000 in medical products.