Managing Prescriptions During Covid-19

Before the country was forced into self-isolation due to Covid-19 , type 2 diabetic Jason Manumu’a of Otahuhu, made sure he renewed his prescriptions and stocked up on his much-needed medication.

Although he had taken care of his own prescriptions, just days into the lockdown period, his parents, who Jason lives with and who are also diabetic, ran out of their medication.

“We called our family clinic and they were able to arrange a new prescription for my parents. It was pretty easy and wasn’t stressful at all, which made our lives a lot easier during this time,” he says.

Samoan pharmacist Kasey Brown, who is president of the Pacific Pharmacists’ Association and member of the Pasifika Medical Association, says pharmacies around the country are fully prepared to handle and manage the needs of patients, just like Jason and his parents.

She says, “if you or a loved one have run out of your medication, to call the pharmacy first, as they may already have a repeat prescription on their file”.

“This might save having to call your family GP,” she says. “If you need a new prescription, then you can call your GP and request them to fax a copy to your pharmacist.”

To minimise any social engagement, Kasey advises to call the pharmacy before picking up the prescription, so they can prepare your medication before you arrive and prepare to pay via EFTPOS or Pay-wave and not cash.

The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand has recommended other safety measures to further protect their front line staff, such as the management of patient flow into the premises, particularly people with any cold and flu-like symptoms. Anyone who has or suspected to have Covid-19, should not enter the premises and should make alternative arrangements with the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions.

“Pharmacy staff need to protect ourselves as much as possible because what we are doing is important and is essential.”

Date: : 31 March 2020