drugs supply companies in Hong Kong unsupervised by pharmacists may expose sufferers to dangers of taking mistaken medicine, group warns

  • Practising Pharmacists Affiliation says it might be in opposition to the regulation if pharmacists didn’t present explanations concerning the drugs delivered to sufferers
  • Service suppliers could need to bear authorized penalties if residents are harmed on account of taking medicine delivered with out pharmacist supervision, it provides

Medication supply companies supplied by a number of organisations amid Hong Kong’s worsening fifth wave of Covid-19 infections will not be supervised by pharmacists and sufferers might be uncovered to dangers of taking the mistaken medicine or dosage, a medical affiliation has warned.

The Practising Pharmacists Affiliation issued the warning after various organisations and corporations launched supply companies for these unable to acquire medicines from hospitals or clinics, akin to Covid-19 sufferers, their shut contacts and the aged.

The affiliation, which has additionally been offering such companies because the fifth wave started, is in search of discussions with the federal government to permit not solely paper but additionally digital medical prescriptions.

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Iris Chan, president of the Practising Pharmacists Association. Photo: Winson Wong

© Supplied by South China Morning Submit
Iris Chan, president of the Practising Pharmacists Affiliation. Photograph: Winson Wong

It mentioned the transfer may velocity up supply and permit them to serve extra folks within the occasion of a lockdown, the place a number of 1000’s requests a day had been anticipated.

The group’s president Iris Chang Yee-man mentioned it might be in opposition to the regulation if pharmacists didn’t present explanations concerning the drugs delivered to sufferers, whereas service suppliers might need to bear authorized penalties if residents had been harmed on account of taking medicine delivered with out the supervision of a pharmacist.

She mentioned medicines weren’t basic items that might be casually delivered to sufferers by publish, courier firms or volunteers.

“Medication supply service is definitely knowledgeable service supplied by pharmacists. It is part of the drugs shelling out course of,” she mentioned. “If the mistaken drugs is given to sufferers, it might be toxic.”

Hong Kong chief, meals suppliers name for finish to panic shopping for

Based on the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, the sale of prescription drugs needs to be carried out by a registered pharmacist or within the presence and supervision of 1.

There are at present about 3,000 pharmacists in Hong Kong, in accordance with Chang.

“The drugs that was handed to a 3rd celebration when it left the pharmacy might be blended up, broken or crushed. It is likely to be even changed with different capsules as the unique capsules is likely to be offered to earn earnings,” Chang mentioned, including shoppers ought to guarantee they purchased drugs from pharmacies stationed by pharmacists and authorised drug shops.

The affiliation mentioned its crew of 200 pharmacists started delivering drugs in individual and straight to sufferers’ doorways about three to 4 months in the past, anticipating to hold out a number of thousand journeys per day, in case there was a lockdown. The affected person would want to pay for the drugs and a flat supply charge of HK$100 (US$12.80).

The sale of prescription medicine in Hong Kong has to be conducted by a registered pharmacist or in the presence and supervision of one. Photo: Shutterstock

© Supplied by South China Morning Submit
The sale of prescription drugs in Hong Kong needs to be carried out by a registered pharmacist or within the presence and supervision of 1. Photograph: Shutterstock

After receiving a textual content from the affected person concerning the drugs, the pharmacist will receive in individual a prescription authorised by the affected person from the hospital or clinic and procure the drugs.

Non-prescription medicine and different medical provides akin to thermometers and cooling patches for fever may also be accessible and precedence will likely be given to sufferers with pressing wants. Sufferers will likely be instructed on the drugs’s utilization by the pharmacist by way of cellphone.

Chang mentioned the affiliation had invited the federal government to debate if it may subsidise the supply charge for the underprivileged and the potential for digital prescriptions, which may save time on acquiring them in individual.

The Submit has reached out to the Division of Well being concerning the supply service.

Authorities sources mentioned on Tuesday a nine-day “large-scale lockdown” was anticipated for obligatory mass testing this month, triggering a panic-buying spree as Hongkongers worn out supermarkets and pharmacies.

Chang mentioned various pharmacies wished to keep up working within the occasion of a lockdown.

Hongkongers have snapped up stock of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang. Photo: Shutterstock

© Supplied by South China Morning Submit
Hongkongers have snapped up inventory of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang. Photograph: Shutterstock

In the meantime, Stanley Wong, deputy managing director of Chuan Chiong Co. Ltd, the provider of Chinese language drugs “Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang” in Hong Kong, mentioned Hongkongers snapped it up as quickly as inventory was replenished.

“Earlier than the Lunar New Yr we might already elevated orders by a number of instances to deal with an anticipated surging demand however the drugs was shortly offered out at supermarkets and pharmacies throughout Hong Kong,” he mentioned.

The drugs, beneficial by the central authorities, was generally used to deal with Covid-19 sufferers with delicate signs in mainland China.

“The availability of Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang will likely be regular however because of delays in shipments the general public might want to look forward to a number of extra days earlier than it may be restocked,” he added.

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This text initially appeared on the South China Morning Submit (www.scmp.com), the main information media reporting on China and Asia.

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