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NIB STAFF BRIEFED ON NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN
Top Managers and Customer Service staff of the National Insurance Board received a detailed briefing Tuesday on the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP) which is expected to be launched by April 2010.
Dr. Stanley Lalta, Project Manager for the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP), told NIB staff that one in three Bahamians or one person in every household is affected by chronic diseases which adversely impact quality of life, productivity and personal finances.
He added that one of the major constraints people with chronic diseases encounter is inadequate access to their prescription drugs either because of long waiting lines and unavailability in the public sector or the cost of drugs in the private sector.
According to Dr. Lalta the National Prescription Drug Plan is focused on both treatment and prevention. In the treatment component it seeks to enhance access to drugs in the public and private pharmacies while reducing the financial burden of prescription costs for persons with chronic diseases.
“Better access means that you can get the drugs on time when you need them in the right quantity at a limited cost to you which means that you can be more compliant in seeking and using medication and that hopefully should have the beneficial impact we’re looking for,” Dr. Lalta said.
The first phase of the plan will provide prescription drugs from an approved list free of charge to members. This will cover approximately 30,000 to 35,000 persons including NIB pensioners, NIB invalids and children under 18 years of age or under 25 years if in full time education.
In order to be eligible for membership in the plan these persons must be diagnosed by a licensed physician with one or more chronic diseases including arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, major depression, prostate cancer and psychosis.
Tami Francis, Manager, NPDP, said both public and private pharmacies will be contracted to provide drugs approved by the NPDP. Registered members of the plan will receive a swipe card from the NPDP which they must present to any participating pharmacy at the time of filling/claiming their prescription.
According to Mrs. Francis all NIB departments will be needed to successfully implement the plan.
“The next steps for implementation of the plan are completing our regulations, implementing an IT system that is currently underway, recruitment and training staff that is now in progress, contracting pharmacies and conducting public outreach,” Mrs. Francis said.
Pictured in the Photo Above
: Dr. Stanley Lalta, Project Manager, National Prescription Drug Plan and Tami Francis, Manager for the Drug Plan brief NIB staff.