No rush to beat fees
THERE WAS no flood of people rushing to the polyclinics yesterday to escape paying the new dispensing fees that would be incurred at private pharmacies.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John, speaking to the SATURDAY SUN, said it came as no surprise to her, since she believed the prices were not “onerous” and some people would not care to break the special relationships formed with their pharmacists over the years.
“I don’t expect a large behaviour change from the public because the prices are still very affordable, and having formed a relationship, I don’t think many people will rush to change.
There are those who will need help and they will come, but I don’t suspect the majority of persons needing medication will change their dispensers,” she said.
The dispensing fees are as follows: if the drug costs between one cent and $2, the dispensing fee is $5 minus the cost of the drug.
For medication priced over $2 and up to $10, the dispensing fee is $5. If the drug costs more than $10 but no more than $20, the dispensing fee is $7. For medicines in the price range of $20 and up to a maximum of $40, the dispensing fee is $12. If the drug costs more than $40, the dispensing fee will be 30 per cent of the cost of the drug.
While touring the Winston Scott Polyclinic with a delegation of ministry officials earlier in the day, St John examined an available space that would be used to house additional medication and pharmacists for the polyclinic.
The touring party also visited the Edgar Cochrane, Warrens, and Black Rock Polyclinics in St Michael; the Randall Phillips Polyclinic in Christ Church; and the Glebe Polyclinic in St George.
Director of the Barbados Drug Service (BDS), Maryam Hinds, in a Press release from the Government Information Service said officials had reported no major hitches with the reintroduction of the dispensing fee in private participating pharmacies or with operations at public pharmacies. (CT)