BDA Community Pharmacy to help tackle rising drug costs – The Royal Gazette
Created: Nov 16, 2022 08:05
BDA Community Pharmacy Chief Pharmacist Melissa Levy, Pharmacy Technician Alexis Fox-Moreno, Pharmacist Marsha Anderson and Marketing Coordinator Alba Fernandez Faria (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Staff at the BDA Community Pharmacy in Hamilton fear that rising drug costs will hit older people in Bermuda the hardest.
“These are usually the people who take a lot of chronic disease medications,” said chief pharmacist Melissa Levy.
“Some seniors have to choose between buying medicine and buying food, or paying for other essentials.”
One of his frustrations is that most of them don’t know that the Bermuda Diabetes Association pharmacy on the corner of Dundonald and Princess streets has more affordable medications, including those for diabetes.
“We are slowly dispelling the perception that we are only for people with diabetes,” she said, “but it’s a work in progress.”
This year, the pharmacy changed its name from Bermuda Diabetes Association Pharmacy to BDA Community Pharmacy.
“We’re not trying to dissociate ourselves from diabetes,” said marketing coordinator Alba Fernandez Faria.
“We are still led by the Bermuda Diabetes Association and we still give a lot of care and love to our patients with diabetes. But we believe that more seniors in the community could also benefit from our services and our prices. affordable.“
Because they are run by a charity, they are patient-oriented rather than profit-oriented.
“We are not criticizing anyone else who wants to earn extra money, but that is not our priority,” Ms Fernandez Faria said.
They are able to provide some drugs at a more affordable price through community sponsorship. For example, the support of Best Shipping allows them to supply medicines in biodegradable bottles.
“We don’t charge people for bottles,” Ms. Faria said. “With all these price increases, we’re still trying to maintain our prices as best we can by keeping our fees and markups low so the patient co-pay doesn’t increase significantly.”
After years at Beacon House on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Dundonald Street, they opened in their current space in 2020. They now have more floor space, allowing them to offer more products related to the health such as pill boxes.
They also offer patient education programs, such as Know Your Medication. People with lots of different medications can bring it all and a pharmacist will accompany them, help organize them, check for medication conflicts and errors, and make sure the medications are taken correctly.
“Patients on multiple medications are sometimes confused about which medications they should be taking,” Ms. Levy said. “I can see the light bulb go out sometimes when we have this conversation. They say, “Oh, that’s why I’m supposed to do this or take this.” It’s a very gratifying feeling for us.
Ms Levy and other staff there want people to know the power is in their hands to take control of their condition.
“It’s quite powerful,” she said.
“We want more people to come to our pharmacy,” Ms. Faria said.
“An extra $50 at the end of the month can make a big difference for a lot of people.”