NHF’s QMS is ISO – 9001:2015 Certified · Government of Jamaica

An agency of the Ministry of Health & Wellness

PHARMACISTS SAY NHF SAVING PATIENTS SIGNIFICANT SUMS OFF THEIR PRESCRIPTIONS

PHARMACISTS SAY NHF SAVING PATIENTS SIGNIFICANT SUMS OFF THEIR PRESCRIPTIONS

Pharmacists across the island say the National Health Fund Individual Benefits are providing significant savings to clients to fill their prescriptions especially for older persons who use both the JADEP and the NHF Health Cards.

Horace Davidson, pharmacist at the Caledonia Mall Pharmacy in Mandeville, says some clients using their JADEP and NHF Health Insurance cards have been able to save as much as 60-70 percent off the cost of their prescription drugs. ?It?s good coverage,? he says, ?It?s quite an exciting health insurance.? Mr. Davidson says many more pharmacies should sign-up to offer NHF benefits, so that their customers can benefit from the significant savings.

It is not surprising that Caledonia Mall Pharmacy was the top claiming community pharmacy for the NHF in 2004, for while the pharmacist says processing both JADEP and NHF health cards takes time, especially if clients also have the NI Gold Card or other health insurance it is work he is prepared to do for the sake of the client. He says the NHF cards make drugs more affordable and this encourages compliance and helps with maintaining good health.?

The Mandeville pharmacist also had high praises for the expanded list of drugs now offered through the NHF. ?Previously certain drugs were out of the reach of some clients, however with the subsidies now offered by NHF, clients can now think about buying them.? He pointed to a customer who was not able to consistently purchase Xalatan an eye drop for glaucoma, but who can now afford to do so because it was recently placed on the NHF Individual Benefits List and with the subsidy the price of the drug to the NHF card holder has dropped from $2,200 to $1,157.

Mrs. Norma Jackson of Great House Pharmacy in Ocho Rios also agrees that the NHF Individual Benefits Health Card is ?very good.? ?Sometimes I have to ask myself is this NHF health card really real? Many of my clients with the NHF card and JADEP have been able to save significant amounts on their prescription drugs.

One client for example used to spend $5-$6,000 now with the health cards their cost is down to $3,000.? But she noted that while the benefits make the clients happy, processing all the health cards takes much of the pharmacist?s time. ?Perhaps the Government needs to look at combining the JADEP and NHF cards along with the NI Gold Health Insurance card into one health insurance scheme,? she advises. She would also like to see further increases in the NHF subsidies for the more popular drugs.

Mr. Rohan Perrier of the Best Care Pharmacy in Montego Bay, says the provision of subsidies by the NHF for the more expensive drugs have put them within reach of many clients who can now afford to buy them. The subsidy for insulin for example he says is very good.

Mr. Rae Barrett, CEO of the NHF says he is encouraged by the reaction of the pharmacists and says the mandate of the NHF is to reduce the burden on health care in Jamaica and the reports show that the Fund is meeting its objectives. Responding to the concern about the time taken to process prescriptions, Mr. Barrett advised that the NHF is looking at introducing a smart card with electronic wallets to simplify the work of the pharmacists. He noted that the NHF will be increasing its efforts in 2005 to enroll thousands more Jamaicans for the NHF and JADEP health cards.

Contact: Rosemarie Lee

Public Information Officer

An agency of the Ministry of Health & Wellness
NHF’s QMS is ISO – 9001:2015 Certified

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