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      Clinic dispenses $1.5 million in free medication

      Annual meeting of the Hannibal Free Clinic

      Anyone on prescription medicine knows just how much a handful of pills can cost. Many people just risk living with chronic conditions like high blood pressure because they can't afford health care or prescriptions.

      At an annual meeting Thursday, volunteers of the Hannibal Free Clinic celebrated providing more than 1000 people in the area with health care at no cost.

      Perhaps the most staggering figure--the clinic dispensed more than 1.5 million dollars in prescription medication in 2011 alone. In the Free Clinic's founding year 0f 2007, it recorded just $20,000 in prescription assistance.

      The Hannibal Free Clinic provides health care to people between the ages of 18 and 65 who don't have access to basic care. Last year it operated on 2.2 million dollars in in-kind donations. It runs on volunteer efforts alone. Dr. Richard Draper is one of the founding volunteers.

      "I think I get much more out of it than my patients do," he told the crowd at Thursday's annual meeting.

      The Hannibal Free Clinic operates of out the Douglass Community Services building on Grand Avenue in Hannibal. The board of directors hopes to move into a larger location in the next year or two.