Fri | Apr 28, 2017

NHF beneficiaries may face difficulties filling prescriptions at private pharmacies

Published:Wednesday | June 17, 2015 | 6:20 AM
In a statement yesterday, the Jamaica Association of Private Pharmacy Owners said the NHF could block its members from adjudicating insurance claims because of their unregistered status.

National Health Fund (NHF) beneficiaries who use private pharmacies could face difficulties filling prescriptions.

This is because dozens of operators are yet to obtain their licences to operate from the Pharmaceutical Council of Jamaica.

In a statement yesterday, the Jamaica Association of Private Pharmacy Owners said the NHF could block its members from adjudicating insurance claims because of their unregistered status.

The association explains that licences to operate as retail pharmacies expired on March 31.

It says applications for re-registration were submitted to the Pharmacy Council as early as February and most owners are yet to receive an update. 

The association says, at an emergency meeting last week, pharmacy owners expressed grave concern that the NHF may not engage them because of their unregistered status.

The NHF gave pharmacy owners a May 31 deadline to submit their registration licences.

Meanwhile, the pharmacy owners are describing as draconian and unexpected the announced increases in trade licences and asset tax.

The association says its members are frustrated with the increases especially for pharmacies that are already required to pay for permission to trade pharmaceuticals.

The group says it will be writing to the Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, the Pharmacy Council of Jamaica and the NHF Board to address their concerns.