Pharmaceutical Situation in Saint Lucia. WHO Assessment of Level II - Health Facilities Survey
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Background. A field study to assess the pharmaceutical situation was undertaken in Saint Lucia from December 2007 to January 2008 using a standardized methodology developed by WHO. Methods. The survey was conducted in five regions: Gros Islet-Dauphin, Castries, Dennery —Ansela- Raye, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. From the four areas a total of twenty four (24) public health pharmacies, ten (10) private pharmacies and four (4) central warehouses were visited. Data entry was performed using designed survey forms. Analysis was done using with Excel ® program. Key results concerning facility survey General indicators. Pharmacists were the only dispensers and were found in all facilities, both public and private sector. Physicians were the only prescribers found, and they were in all public health care facilities. None of them had attended Rational Use of Medicines (RUM) related training within the previous year. Access. Overall indicators of access show that key essential medicines selected for Saint Lucia are completely available in public health facilities, in warehouses that supply public health system and in private pharmacies. The percentage of dispensed medicines reached a high value. In the public sector, the procurement agency is purchasing medicines at prices comparable to international reference prices, indicating a fair level of purchasing efficiency. Concerning geographical accessibility, it took more than 30 minutes to arrive at the public dispensing facility for only few (6.7%) of the patients interviewed at public dispensing facilities and similar results were obtained for private pharmacies. In treating common conditions using standard regiments, the lowest paid government worker would need between 0.3 (diabetes in adults) and 0.5 (pneumonia in adults) days wages to purchase lowest priced generic medicines from the public sector and 0.9 and 0.2 from the private sector.
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