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24 August 2009
Conflicting reports on the POYC scheme.

I can’t help but point out the ambivalence shown by various exponents and journalists commenting on the Pharmacy of your choice scheme which has been frozen since July 2008. Various high officials from the Chamber of Pharmacists, GRTU (pharmacy section) and Chamber of Commerce (representing medical importers) have been quoted as criticizing the government for ‘dragging its feet in commiting manpower and resources to the scheme’ or describing the ‘POYC scheme being not effective’ and burdened with ‘ an outstanding setback of having medicines out of stock’, and within a few days stating that the ‘POYC scheme has been a success’or ‘the chamber strongly objects to the exercise of doom and gloom (of criticism by a newspaper editorial)…’.

Such a quick change of heart by the same authors is curious and noteworthy. One cannot expect to be critical of an ailing scheme and at the same time, in an attempt not to embarrass the authorities describe the whole thing as a success story.  Another thing worth mentioning is about the ongoing discussions between the government, GRTU, Chamber of Pharmacists and Chamber of Commerce out of which cropped up the possible introduction of a prescription fee or co-financing of schedule 5 medicines which at present are given free for chronic illnesses. The government agreed that any decision has to be taken ‘with ALL the parties involved’. Who is representing the patient in these discussions?

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