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Barbadians will pay a small fee for drugs under the Barbados Drug Service, Special Benefits Scheme for the first time from April 1 when they visit their private pharmacists.

President of the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society (BPS), the national association of public and private pharmacists, Bandele Serrano, assures persons who qualify under the Special
Benefits Scheme, that continuing to use their private pharmacists is the best option. “Pharmacy is an essential service but it is also a business and as business people we understand the move by Government to have the new shared cost scheme. The BPS is therefore equipping its members to deal with the new administative work that will go into making this transition a success, since we want to make this process as seamless as possible for our customers,” said Serrano.

Pharmacists are Qualified and Up-to-Date On Medication

Over its 60 year history, the BPS has always had a policy which requires its members to be well trained and up-to-date on all new medications. To this end the association hosts a pharmaceutical company at each of its monthly meetings to bring members ‘up to speed’ on new research and drug-to-drug interactions. Serrano said that “pharmacists as healthcare professionals have intensive knowledge of how drugs work. "We work closely with doctors to make recommendations on medication depending on the type and severity of the patient’s ailment. Our duty is more than filling prescriptions; we are responsible for delivering excellent pharmaceutical care.”

Benefits of Using Private Pharmacists

Customers of private pharmacies are always guaranteed that they will receive one-on-one, relevant and professional service with minimum waiting times. Serrano said that his organisation “understand that some customers may have no choice but to go to public pharmacies to get their medication free. However, as private pharmacists we concentrate on delivering accurate medication, in a customer-friendly enviroment. We are family friends, confidants and we will continue to focus on giving our customers one-on-one individual service.”

About BPS

BPS is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1948. Members receive the best education and training opportunities on medical conditions and the appropriate treatments. It is open to all pharmacists and pharmacy students, its primary objectives are to raise the standard of education of pharmacists and to project a positive image of pharmacy to the general public.