Cre­at­ing a del­i­cate bal­ance

Jamaica Gleaner - - MESSAGE - SHEREEN DAWKINS COX Pres­i­dent JAPPO

THE JA­MAICA As­so­ci­a­tion of Pri­vate Phar­macy Own­ers (JAPPO) joins the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Ja­maica in cel­e­brat­ing yet an­other Phar­macy Week. Phar­macy is al­ways a del­i­cate bal­anc­ing of the pro­fes­sional and com­mer­cial features. While the pro­fes­sional as­pect of dis­pens­ing med­i­ca­tions and coun­selling our pa­tients re­mains the heart of the busi­ness, the mat­ter of fi­nan­cially in­vest­ing in the health care of our peo­ple is a very se­ri­ous one.

The busi­ness of phar­macy re­quires in­ter­fac­ing and main­tain­ing good busi­ness re­la­tion­ships with stake­hold­ers such as our sup­pli­ers, in­sur­ance part­ners, em­ploy­ees and most im­por­tantly our clients.

With the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund watch­ing closely over our econ­omy and the dol­lar slid­ing con­tin­u­ously, the cost of med­i­ca­tions has in­creased and, un­for­tu­nately, these costs have been passed on to our con­sumers. It is, there­fore, chal­leng­ing for cus­tomers who have to dig a lit­tle deeper into their pock­ets each month to finance their reg­u­lar sup­ply of med­i­ca­tions.


Some cus­tomers have re­sorted to buy­ing smaller quan­ti­ties, not be­ing com­pli­ant with tak­ing their med­i­ca­tions, or not tak­ing them at all. One client re­cently lamented, “I am go­ing to stop tak­ing my pills, I can­not af­ford it.” The en­tire pre­scrip­tion of four items cost less than $2,000 with the National Health Fund card, but find­ing it was a strug­gle for this un­em­ployed lady.

Phar­macy own­ers in Ja­maica, for al­most 20 years, have part­nered with the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica to serve the el­derly of the pop­u­la­tion by pro­vid­ing drugs at a min­i­mal cost of $40 per item for sev­eral chronic ill­nesses. At present, JAPPO is in dis­cus­sions with the Gov­ern­ment for an­other part­ner­ship to al­low gov­ern­ment-is­sued pre­scrip­tions for all pub­lic-sec­tor pa­tients to be dis­pensed in pri­vate phar­ma­cies across the is­land. This would mean less wait­ing time at the hos­pi­tals, health cen­tres and Drug Serv phar­ma­cies, thereby al­low­ing phar­ma­cists in these fa­cil­i­ties to fo­cus on a more clin­i­cal role in car­ing for in-pa­tients through med­i­ca­tion ther­apy man­age­ment. This part­ner­ship could re­duce length of hos­pi­tal stay and read­mis­sions, while im­prov­ing med­i­ca­tion ac­cess and com­pli­ance.

JAPPO, through the over 350 pri­vate phar­ma­cies in Ja­maica, is com­mit­ted to con­tinue in­vest­ing in the health of the cit­i­zens and the pro­vi­sion of employment for our phar­ma­cists and al­lied work­ers. For this Phar­macy Week, phar­macy own­ers across Ja­maica join with our phar­ma­cists in our commitment to ful­fil the theme: ‘Ad­vanc­ing Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals for a Health­ier You!’


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