Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Clarendon Coalition for Peace, Taits Pharmacy kick-start prescription programme

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2020 | 12:21 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

CHAIRMAN OF the Clarendon Coalition For Peace (CCFP) Anthony Smatt and chief executive officer of Taits Pharmacy Michael McLaren are combining efforts to ensure that the vulnerable in the parish get to fill their prescriptions free of cost.

The initiative, which began yesterday, will be targeting mental health, diabetic, hypertensive, and asthmatic patients.

Smatt told The Gleaner that for the last few months, a tremendous amount of food has been donated by stakeholders in the parish, but the one need that remains constant is that of healthcare.

“Every day, three or four times a week, people are coming to me with prescriptions and asking me to sponsor it. I decided since they are in need of money to fill prescription, why don’t I do a prescription programme,” he said.

It was this thought process that saw him approaching McLaren, asking him if they could embark upon a prescription programme, using only diabetic, asthmatic, hypertensive, and mental health patients.

“We came up with the idea that if we started the fund with $100,000 in the programme, and if persons bring their NHF card and ID with them, the money would stretch even further,” Smatt shared.

Smatt said that to access the fund, persons are required to state that they are participating in the CCFP.

McLaren, for his part, told The Gleaner that it was a pleasure to be part of the initiative.

“I have seen the needs of people, I have experienced their pain and suffering. I truly never understood the needs of people until I became chairman of the Jamaica Red Cross, Clarendon branch, a position I held for over six years,” he said, adding that there was no greater satisfaction than to serve.