Pharmarcy helps in delivery of ‘Blister Packs’ to the sick

2015-08-27 06:00
Madeleine Foot, Pharmacist Assistant-Office Manager, Kimber Noble, Pharmacist Assistant, Jean van Rensburg, Administrator and Heleen Bezuidenhout, Project Manager, during the 
busy day in the EezyPack Blister Centre, packing and checking, making sur

Madeleine Foot, Pharmacist Assistant-Office Manager, Kimber Noble, Pharmacist Assistant, Jean van Rensburg, Administrator and Heleen Bezuidenhout, Project Manager, during the busy day in the EezyPack Blister Centre, packing and checking, making sur

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As part of their community involvement programme, leading Northern Suburbs pharmacy group, Durbell Pharmacies, are responsible for blister packing medicines for 65 patients at the iKhaya Loxolo Lase Gugulethu old age home.

Blister packs are commonly used as unit-dose packaging for pharmaceutical tablets, capsules and lozenges.

Blisters are designed to reduce medication-related hospitalisations and adverse events through improved medication management and adherence. Patients who can benefit from this include the elderly, who are often on several different medications, people living with HIV or TB, and patients with cognitive disabilities who may have trouble understanding or remembering their dosage regimes.” Says Heleen Bezuidenhout, Pharmacy Manager at Durbell Cape Gate: “

Bezuidenhout explains that sisters at old age homes are under immense pressure to deliver good quality service.

“One of their responsibilities is to pack each resident’s medication, while also tending to their needs and care. This is quite a time consuming job, which more often than not, gets interrupted numerous times. Prescribed medications and treatment regimens need to be taken as recommended to be effective.

“When you’re prescribed multiple medications and given multiple directions on taking those medications, it can become very difficult to remember everything. Durbell’s EezyPack blister’s help alleviate those worries. You no longer need to remember when or how many medications you’re supposed to take. No more counting pills in the bottle to see if you have already taken your dose or trying to remember what you did after breakfast.”

According to Bezuidenhout, Geratec, the initial managing body appointed by the government, were very keen to start with blisters and contacted Dispensing Technology Solutions (DTS).

“They’re responsible for making blisters available in South Africa and referred Geratec to us. We started in June 2013, when the home was still called the Ekuphumleni Old Age Home. It was renamed to iKhaya Loxolo Lase Gugulethu in 2015.”

Durbell Pharmacy currently packs medicine for 65 patients per month at the home. Bezuidenhout continues: “As a community pharmacy group, we see it as a part of our social responsibility to pack these medicine for ease-of-use by the patients.

“However, it’s also partially funded by the Managerial Board of the home. We provide them with blisters on a two weekly cycle.”

In order to pack blisters, one needs to order the medication, ensure the delivery thereof and update any changes made to the current script by the prescribing doctor. “We start prepping every Monday by printing all necessary information, and packing blisters for which we have enough stock. Medication from the homes usually arrives on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Changes are made and then the team starts packing ferociously in order for delivery at the homes on a Friday. It takes a week to pack 450 clients’ blisters.”

Bezuidenhout concludes: “We’re currently packing for ten retirement homes from Gugulethu to Kuils River.

“We also have private clients who make use of our blisters. Our EezyPack blister centre also packs medicines supplied by Gems, Clicks etc. You don’t need to be a Durbell client to make use of this wonderful service, made possible by our fabulous team including Madeleine Foot, Jean van Rensburg, Kimber Noble and Johan van Rensburg.”

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