Patients on chronic medication who live in and around Joburg and Bloemfontein can now collect their monthly medicines in about three minutes from new ATM pharmacies set up by Right ePharmacy.
The pharmacy dispending units (PDUs) are chronic medicine collection points which dispense medication quickly and accurately so patients who are part of the public service don’t have to wait in long queues at their local clinic every month when collecting repeat medication.
The PDUs are located in:
- Soweto: Baragwanath Mall in Diepkloof and Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands;
- Diepsloot: Bambanani Mall;
- Alexandra: Alex Plaza;
- Bloemfontein: Twin City Mall.
“If you have a chronic condition and you are clinically stable, you can use the PDUs. Simply go to your usual clinic where a nurse will confirm whether you are eligible. You then complete a consent form and become registered.
“You will be given a two months’ supply of medication and you will be given a date for your next collection at a PDU site. On that day, go to the helpdesk at the PDU with your ID or passport and clinic appointment card where you will be helped,” said Fanie Hendriksz, managing director of Right ePharmacy.
“Many public healthcare facilities are and overstretched particularly when it comes to dispensing medication as there is a shortage of pharmacists. Right to Care set up Right ePharmacy to offer innovation through technology for the dispensing of chronic medication,” Hendriksz said.
Medicine is dispensed in a 5-step process:
- Patient scans barcode ID book, ID card or pharmacy card and enters PIN;
- Patient talks to a remote pharmacist (like a Skype call);
- The prescription and items are selected;
- The medicine is robotically dispensed and labelled and drops in the collection slot;
- Patient takes the receipt which indicates next collection date.
Reminder SMSes are sent to patients who don’t collect their medicine to ensure adherence.
“The treatment of patients with chronic diseases contributes substantially to primary healthcare facilities’ becoming overloaded as there are hundreds of thousands of chronic patients in the system. These patients need to consult with a clinician twice a year and collect their medication a further four times a year,” said Hendriksz.
Article by: Staff Writer