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UPHS – Portage Pharmacy Offers Local Delivery Service

As submitted by U.P. Health System-Portage:

HANCOCK — Accessibility to your prescriptions is vital for a healthy livelihood, which is why UP Health System – Portage offers a prescription delivery service to your home or office to ensure you have the medication you need.

“If your doctor prescribes something for you and you can’t get it, it doesn’t do you any good,” said Emily Roche, the Director of Retail Pharmacy at UPHS – Portage. “We’re trying to make it as convenient as possible for patients to maintain their medication therapies so they can maintain their health.”

The free delivery is available Monday through Friday and covers  Calumet, Laurium, Dollar Bay, Lake Linden, Chassell, Painesdale, Houghton, Hancock and anywhere in between. For those with transportation or mobility issues, or people who are too busy to make a stop at a pharmacy, prescription delivery is an alternative solution to making sure you have your medications available to you. Unlike mail order, the prescriptions are filled by local pharmacists and technicians in the Copper Country community.

“We see a lot of our elders and busy parents using our delivery service, or just people who can’t get to the pharmacy themselves and need their meds right away,” Roche said.  “Unfortunately, two local pharmacies closed recently, and that has been tough on the community. We want to pitch in and help get patients their meds more quickly.

“We’re pretty flexible. So far the people that have switched over have been very happy with it. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback. But the other feedback we’re hearing is they didn’t know about it previously. They didn’t know we delivered up there. That’s why we’re trying to get the word out now.”


Brian Laakonen has served as the prescription courier for UPHS – Portage for 32 years.

Brian Laakonen has served as the UPHS – Portage prescription courier for 32 years and is readily available to travel despite the harsh weather conditions. He’s developed a connection with the patients to the point where he knows how they like their deliveries and where they prefer things to be stored.

“It means everything to help people,” he said. “It’s a way for us as a pharmacy to bring healthcare right to their home. A lot of times they are unable to get out or have to wait for their prescriptions and there’s a lot of lag time, but this allows me to get it to them. People have appreciated it, and it keeps me interested in doing what I do because I can see it in their faces when they get something they need.”

In addition to providing a delivery service, UPHS – Portage is willing to explore cost-effective solutions for your prescriptions. Whether that’s working with doctors to find a cheaper option or searching for coupons, the staff at UPHS – Portage is prepared to assist your financial situation.“We look at costs with patients since a lot of prescriptions are expensive,” Roche said. “If it doesn’t work with your budget, you’re likely to not take it and that has to be a conversation that maybe we can have with the patient to work on with some solutions and also work with their doctor to get something in the equivalent of what’s in their price range.

“The doctors don’t often know what kind of costs will be associated with a prescription, but we will know that and sometimes you can call back to a doctor and say what you prescribed here is not in the budget. We work with them as well to do everything we can to keep the patient adherent to their medication therapies.”

To learn more about the services offered by the UPHS – Portage pharmacy, please call 906.483.1919.

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