When facing a cancer diagnosis, the last thing you should be concerned about is whether the correct medicine for treatment, or management of pain, will be delivered. We get an inside look at how Medipost Pharmacy delivers oncology medication to oncology units.
Reliable supply of medication
Specialised staff and dedicated pharmacists work behind the scenes to ensure the reliable supply of medication. This ensures that oncologists and patients can focus on the treatment plan.
Everyone who is involved in the packaging, labelling, checking and delivery of patient-ready medicines required for cancer care may have an inconspicuous role in the treatments patients receive. But it is, nonetheless, a crucial role.
From the safe-handling of the chemotherapy and other specialised medicines in our facility, to the special precautions we use to make sure that these medicines reach the oncology practice, or the patient’s home, with their pharmacological integrity intact, each member of the Medipost Pharmacy team is dedicated to ensuring that our operations run like clockwork.
This means that the people who rely on the medicines we supply, need not spare a second thought to the aspects we are responsible for and this is exactly how it should be.
Responsibility and commitment to patient
Our staff understand that their work of preparing medicine parcels for delivery is a responsibility and commitment towards the patient. We see the parcels as so much more than the sum of their contents and packaging.
We may not be able to take away the worries of a cancer patient, but we do our part by making sure that when patients arrive at the treatment room, all their medicines are there, correct and in optimal condition, and ready for use.
Assistance with medical aid authorisations
Medipost Pharmacy further assists in obtaining authorisations from medical schemes on behalf of patients and arranging for private payment where required.
The administrative staff who are involved are fully versed in the facilitation of authorisations and have built up long-standing relationships with the staff of managed care organisations. They are trained to ensure medicines are claimed from the correct benefit category, which means there is often no need for patients to make co-payments, or these out-of-pocket payments are limited as far as possible for patients.
We also assist patients with direct home deliveries for hormonal treatments, oral chemotherapy and pain management, as well as chronic medication.
Some of these medicines must be kept cold to preserve the efficacy, safety or quality of the compounds. Specific systems have been developed to ensure that the cold chain is maintained throughout the process until delivery.
At our medicine handling and packaging facility, cold chain items are kept in walk-in refrigerators, which have multiple temperature probes that constantly measure the temperature while sending a reading to the central server.
If the temperature rises or falls outside the ideal range, warning SMSes are automatically sent to the responsible staff, including management and maintenance staff, so that the situation can immediately be addressed before it impacts the efficacy of the medicine.
The medicines we transport to oncology practices are delivered in cold chain boxes, which are lined with expanded polyurethane, packed with frozen gel packs, and a tight-fitting lid. Temperature probes ensure that the cold chain is maintained within parcels on all delivery routes, so that the medicines arrive in pristine condition.
Expiry dates are meticulously checked. We don’t issue any medicines that are within six weeks of the best before date, except in special circumstances and in agreement with the practice or patient, on the strict proviso that the course of treatment will be completed well within the expiry date.
Although Medipost Pharmacy’s main contact is with the oncology practices, we also assist patients, their families and support networks directly, as well as charities raising funds for treatments. Our pharmacists and pharmacist’s assistants are available to give specialised telephonic counselling and advice, relating to the medicines we provide, in all 11 South African official languages.
We are aware that the patients we serve and their families are going through life-changing events, and that they rely on our service for the medicines they need for their treatments, and managing pain or other symptoms. Every day we are committed to these patients and ensuring everything runs smoothly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
MEET OUR EXPERT – Rentia Myburgh
Rentia Myburgh is the group sales and marketing director: Medipost Holdings. She is also a founding member of Medipost Pharmacy. To fulfil a growing need in the marketplace, the Medipost Group formed a specialised oncology medication division in 2015 under the aegis of Rentia and a team of experienced oncology pharmacists. Rentia, who has been personally affected by cancer, remains actively involved in the daily operational matters within the Medipost oncology division.