Monday, April 12, 2004

Bdos: Bustin' style on free drugs

A SIGNIFICANT PORTION of the $40 million spent yearly on legal drugs by the Barbados Drug Service (BDS) is being dumped by patients.

And health officials are concerned about the creation of “poly-pharmacies”, especially among the elderly.

“It is a very big problem. We cannot begin to estimate the expenditure of drugs just lying there on people’s shelves within their little pharmacies in their homes,” said director Maryam Hinds yesterday.

She told the SUNDAY SUN they regularly got calls from the National Assistance Board (NAB) when its officers visited the homes of old people, and from nurses who tell them they have to do something.

She said it was because of this that they were thinking about making people pay a token amount, like $1 or $2 per prescription, so they might think twice before returning.

When they have to pay at the receiving end they wouldn’t waste it, but because they perceive it as free they are not seeing taxpayers’ money going to buy those drugs,” Hinds said. “They just say it’s free so they don’t place much value on it.”
Getting things the old fashioned way ensures respect for the fruits of one's labor.

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