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Patients on Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) are failing to access various prescribed medication from the society’s pharmacies amid revelations that the pharmacies were facing serious drug stock outs.

Investigations by The Herald showed that a majority of the pharmacies owned by Premier Service Medical Investments — a subsidiary of PSMAS — had little or no stocks of medicines used to treat chronic illnesses such as HIV and Aids, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Other common antibiotics and painkillers were also reportedly out of stock.

Members interviewed claim that they have been experiencing the stock outs for the past three weeks.

“I have a prescription for antibiotics but I was told they are out of stock,” said a cardiac patient interviewed at a PSMAS pharmacy in the city on Friday.

“I was told to buy the medicines from other pharmacies and raise a claim for reimbursement later on but it is so inconvenient because I have to look for the money first,” she said.

The shortages are so severe that the pharmacists had to compile a list of medicines in stock, which was distributed to clinics for doctors to refer to before prescribing.

PSMAS acting chief executive Dr Farai Muchena confirmed that there were challenges in drug stocks last week. Although he could not say exactly what was causing the stock outs, Dr Muchena said retailing is ‘all about selling and replacing’.

“We all know what the country is going through and no one is spared in that wave. We are also owed by our debtors in as much as we owe our providers,” he said.

Source : The Herald