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E-DRUG: Re: Great Britain - Original pack dispensing delayed again

>Canada also dispenses from bulk stock, except for a few things like birth
>control pills.  As I understand it the argument for continuing to dispense
>this way is that it may control wastage i.e. if the physician prescribes a
>10 day course of something, but the medication comes in a 7-day package
>then two 7-day packages would have to be used and 4 days of drug would be
>wasted.

I must enter this conversation.  Australia has been pushed towards
dispensing from prepacked stock outside public hospitals by industry packs
and predetermined quantities available on the PBS (similar to NHS).  I work
in a community controlled Aboriginal Health Service where drugs are
prescribed according to patients real needs to avoid waste, make the best
use of funds and cater best for patient needs. We have to unpack prepacked
stock into bulk containers so we can do this.  It is very frustrating.  As
Joel Lexchin says, predetermined packs can be very wasteful and
inappropriate.  I have tried to get bulk packs of commonly used drugs such
as antibiotics and ferrous sulphate tablets in Australia and have not been
successful.  Manufacturers say it costs too much to stop their machines
which are programmed to prepare predtermined pack sizes.

I have also worked in developing countries for many years.  Our procurement
and working preference was for bulk packs of essential drugs.  They suit
the distribution requirements and workflow much better.  In addition,
transport and freight costs are less for bulk packs.  Prepacked units are
much more bulky and usually more expensive.



Beverley Snell, Public Health Pharmacist
Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
186 Nicholson Street
 Fitzroy Vic Australia 3065
and Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research International Health Unit
Yarra Bend Road
 Fairfield Vic Australia 3078
email: bev@mbcmr.unimelb.edu.au>
 


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