Pharmacist-in-Charge Kent Helvey, left, and Pharmacy Technician Krystal Dorsey

Avita Drugs at Trinity Health and Wellness Clinic in Oak Cliff held its grand opening this week. Last year, the company merged with RX Partners, which has a store now also under the Avita name on Oak Lawn Avenue.

The company was founded in 2003 to specialize in HIV medications, according to Mike McBride, vice president of business development. He said that the company’s oldest pharmacy is attached to the NOAIDS Task Force clinic in New Orleans.

Avita also specializes in mental health, transplant and hepatitis medications, but is open to the public to fill any prescription.

McBride said that the company’s partnership with AIDS Arms helps them maximize their funding and stretch their services. In addition to traditional insurance, they are in-network with ADAP and Medicaid, as well as Resource Center Dallas’ co-pay assistance program.

COO Tim Jacobs said, “We accept multiple funding sources many pharmacies don’t want to deal with.”

Avita offers free delivery at no charge.

McBride said the company is putting together a financial assistance program to help patients in need with their co-pays and deductibles.

“We’ll roll that out in the next 30 to 60 days,” McBride said.

He said Texas is moving to a managed Medicaid system that will outsource many of the program’s benefits. He said that might involve new co-pays that Medicaid recipients don’t have to pay now. Avita is watching that and will be fully in-network with all of the providers.

Jacobs said one service is to call patients to remind them before refills are due. But working closely with the doctors at AIDS Arms, Avita will keep them informed about any patients who become noncompliant.

He said the close working relationship between the agency and his company and its pharmacists’ extensive knowledge of HIV medications benefits patients.

“The goal is to reduce barriers to medical care,” he said.

He said by the time the patient arrives from AIDS Arms agency next door, medications are usually ready to be picked up. If it is a first time on a particular prescription, there is a private counseling room for the pharmacist to explain how the medication should be taken and answer any questions.

Both Jacobs and McBride have worked with a number of AIDS agencies in a similar capacity around the country. They called the facility and the staff at AIDS Arms “head and shoulders above others around the country.”

Avita has signed up to be a sponsor of LifeWalk and will be the title sponsor of the kickoff party held in April.