Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Drug Cap

I thought I'd start my return to posting this week with a Barbados news story. If I see any global pharmacy story that's interesting and/or has potential parallels to Canada, I'll post it. I'd still expect 90+% of stories to be Canadian.

What if a provincial drug plan decided that it wouldn't allow new pharmacies to bill their plans for seniors/social services/etc? Well, it's happening right now in Barbados, all in the name of containing costs. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me or the owners of the new pharmacies.

From the (Bridgetown, Barbados) Nation News:
The Barbados Drug Service has placed a cap on the number of private pharmacies contracted to dispense drugs under its drug service scheme.

But while director Maryam Hinds says the action is part of the service's restructuring efforts, some affected pharmacists are calling it unfair and detrimental to the people needing the drugs.

Daily Nation investigations reveal that about nine pharmacies which started up within the past two years were turned down when they applied for the contracts.

Under the Drug Service programme, pharmacists dispense certain drugs free or at reduced prices to the elderly, children and persons suffering from diseases like diabetes. They are then reimbursed by Government. It is understood some pharmacists get over 50 per cent of their business from the scheme.

Two of the pharmacists, who did not want to be identified, reported that they were informed by an official of the Drug Service that no new contracts would be issued because the service's bill was too high. ...more

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