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Finance State Minister Invites Pharmacists To Meeting
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Hon. Fayval Williams, has invited a delegation of pharmacists to discuss pressing concerns with Ministry personnel. This, she said, would allow the Government to have a better understanding of the challenges industry players are facing. “It’s incumbent on Government to listen to persons, listen to the issues and try to do the best we can (to resolve them),” she said, while addressing the inaugural Retail Pharmacy Business Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston on April 9. Among the pharmacists’ concerns are the taxes they are now required to pay on fees charged for the processing of prescriptions, which the group felt it was exempt from, as is the case with other medical professionals. President of the Jamaica Association of Private Pharmacy Owners (JAPPO), Shereen Dawkins Cox, told JIS News that she and her colleagues welcomed the opportunity to get clarification from the Government on these and other issues.
In the meantime, the State Minister praised the 425 retail pharmacists in Jamaica who have been contributing to the health and well-being of Jamaicans, as well as the economy, through job creation and employment.
She noted that pharmacists provide invaluable service to persons, as they not only fill prescriptions, but supply vital information on various medications and other medical matters.
“We know that pharmacists have studied for many years to do what they do. They bring professionalism, and there is a lot of trust that exists between the public and the pharmacists,” she said.
Ms. Williams also expressed appreciation for the partnership between pharmacies and the Government to ensure patients have access to affordable medications. This is facilitated through the
National Health Fund, the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP), and most recently the Public/Private Sector Partnership Programme (PPSP).
Organised by the JAPPO, the conference was held under the theme ‘Opportunities and Threats: Retail Pharmacy’.
Some of the topics discussed included Pharmaceutical Drug Pricing, Mobile Money and Electronic Prescribing, 20/20 Vision: Strategies Not only to Survive But to Thrive Past 2020, and Opportunities for Retail Business-Building.