The Malta Chamber of Pharmacists refers to the recent reports in the printed and broadcasting media on preferential treatment of patients vis a vis the distribution of medicines under the POYC scheme and more recently, the bizarre situation whereby it has been reported that POYC medicines are being distibuted through village club/s (kazini).
If this is the case then the distribution of medicines has become politicized to unbelievable proportions.
The Chamber is the national pharmacy association and trade union and it is apolitical. But the Chamber does represent its members who are pharmacists and is also responsible for the well being of society pharmacists serve, that is patients.
If medicines are being distributed as has been alleged, through village club/s, it is of grave concern and to the detriment of public health. It is also in serious breach of the laws of Malta (Medicines Act). The Chamber and its members expect that those who are vested with the powers at law – POYC Responsible Persons, the Medicines Authority, the Licensing Authority – take the immediate and necessary steps to investigate and stop this alleged abuse. They must safeguard the public by ensuring that any medicine is only dispensed from licensed premises – pharmacies – by pharmacists in private community pharmacies, who are the only ones responsible and entitled to dispense medicines through a POYC service to entitled registered patients .
The Chamber informs all concerned, including the public that pharmacists are under directive not to accept instructions from Ministries or POYC department on preferential supply of POYC medicines on named patient basis. The Chamber fully supports all Pharmacists in their day to day practice which should be serene and calls on the Minister for Health and Energy and Parliamentary Secretary for Health to ensure dignity and equitable access to medicines by all POYC registered patients through their Pharmacist of choice in the community and that these health care professionals are respected.