Over the past decade, South Africa has experienced an unpredicted growth in patients requiring access to long term therapies. This, together with the changing epidemiological profile of South Africa, has led to an over extension of public sector health care facilities. This has placed a strain on available resources and opportunities for external parties to support the care provided to patients.

Typically, a patient with a chronic disease is issued with a repeat prescription for six months. Between the six-monthly clinical assessments, a stable patient only needs to visit the health care facility to collect his/her medicine.

On a daily basis as much as 70% of a facility’s prescription load is the preparation of repeat prescriptions. The result is that the pharmacy personnel to patient ratio is often in excess of recommended norms and standards.

Consequently, staff are overburdened and do not have the capacity to perform adequate demand planning, inventory management and patient counselling.

The patient experience is often one of long waiting times and, sometimes, repeat visits to facilities to collect medicines that were not available at the routine visit. This situation poses potential adherence barriers which may lead to poor health outcomes and places strain on the patient in terms of transport costs and loss of income.

The Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme provides an alternative mechanism to facilitate access to medicine for stable patients. External pick-up points (PuPs) provide the patient with a more convenient option for the collection of their repeat medicine which has been dispensed and distributed via the programme. The PuP may be closer to their homes or workplace and can result in reduced transport costs.

Introducing dablapmeds

Now, more than ever, offering stable patients an easy way to collect their chronic medication is critical. To promote the benefits of the CCMDD programme, the “dablapmeds” brand was created.

dablapmeds is the CCMDD programme, just with a friendly, recognisable, and easy to pronounce name to help increase patient awareness about the programme and its benefits.

“Dablap” is a colloquial term for a shortcut. Instead of sitting in a queue at the clinic, a patient can now use Dablapmeds as a shortcut to their chronic medication. It is a free service that allows for collection of chronic medication at more convenient locations.

dablapmeds is an NHI Initiative that is free, safe, quick and convenient.