September commemorates as Pharmacy awareness Month

September is Pharmacy Month, used to raise awareness and place greater emphasis on the importance of medication. Along with access to safe, effective, affordable, and quality medicines to achieve universal health coverage.

The City of Cape town reported that in the past year, pharmacies at City facilities have dispensed more than 6 million medicine parcels to just over 1,5 million people on chronic medication. It stated that their message this month is to know the do’s and don’ts of your daily doses.

According to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Patricia Van der Ross apart from dispensing medicine, the City’s pharmacists also have the responsibility of ensuring that medication in their care is stored correctly, and properly accounted for.

Meanwhile recently South African health officials reported that cancer patients and other people with chronic pain ailment will suffer as stocks of well-known analgesics and several other essential drugs run low in the private and government sectors.

According to the Independent Community Pharmacist Association the shortage of morphine powder in particular has been red-flagged by medical and pharmaceutical health professionals. The association which represents the interests of at least 1 200 independent community pharmacy owners in South Africa, said 80% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed in the country were sourced from abroad. ICPA CEO Jacqueline Maimin also raised concern about the shortage of

Despite this Pharmacy retailer Dis-Chem  back in may reported strong revenue growth of 15.7%, exceeding R30 billion for the first time (R30.4 billion), with consumers resuming their pre-pandemic routines and shopping habits, despite a challenging and complex operating environment posed by Covid-19 and the civil unrest last year.

Dis-Chem’s CPFO Rui Morais said that retail revenue grew by 15.6% to R27.1 billion with comparable store revenue at 6.1%.Dis-Chem continues to support the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic by operating a national vaccination site network, comprising mass and in-store clinic sites.  Dis-Chem has administered 1.7 million vaccine doses since the start of the campaign.

The city stated that medication management is something of concern as very few people don’t fully understand the importance of taking medication only as prescribed.

The city advised the public to be aware of the following:

• Medication is meant to be absorbed into the body – at times, the absorption is aided by the presence of food in the stomach, and sometimes, an empty stomach works best, hence the advice to take it with meals, or not

• Take your medication exactly as prescribed; learn the names and adverse effects as explained by your pharmacist

• Do not share medication with anyone, even if they have the same condition – each person’s physiological make up is unique, and taking medication without a doctor’s consultation and prescription could be harmful

• Monitor your chronic medication closely, to ensure you do not run out or miss your follow up appointments

• Keep medication out of reach of children and pets

• Make sure medication is always properly labelled and stored, to mitigate the risk of taking the wrong medication

• When medication has expired or it is unused, return it to your nearest pharmacy – do not dispose of it in your household waste

• Finish the course of medication, as prescribed and explained by your pharmacist – particularly if you are on antibiotics or TB treatment

by Everngelista Muza


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