Hints To Why YOU And NOT Your Healthcare Provider Determines What Gets Into Your Body

Sketch by Vwani

Public hospitals often dispense predictable prescriptions. It is wearisome seeing the same prescription dispensed more than five times to different patients same day, of course you will have so many assumptions. If you are working in hospital setting, you may have to force yourself to learn how to deal with too much repetition. Despite all that being able to predict what trends will gather in the world of prescription is one motivating part in dispensing. At least folks working in community pharmacies get breaks from such since they have a wide range of prescriptions from different consultants and hospitals.

Looking back to 2012 prescribing is undergoing a natural progression to where it is now, while some would argue that only one type of prescription is valid i.e. letter head, stamped, name of the patient and all that, prescriptions have lost their original authenticity and pith. Probably you are familiar with prescriptions that come with {MB, ChB, Msc., PhD, FRcPS, M.Med (psych), M.Med (Fam Med)}, at the moment we’re getting prescriptions via text. Soon or later, you will get to dispense a prescription without name of patient, age or even the prescribers’ information. Prescription errors therefore are high for this cases and it is difficult to prevent such errors.

So, what actually determines the weight of a prescription? With Nairobi prescribers in mind, there is so much “food for thought” on that. I personally have to classify prescriptions differently but that is just me saying, the only thing is when you release a new generic drug to the market every few months there is only so much you can change in the prescription trends in Nairobi. The Kenyan market is crowded with voluminous generics making it too painful to remember a generic that you dispensed like say two months ago. The sales driver being the prescriber it is hard to substitute a prescription. (According to Sanisphere Pharmacies Observation Post – POP Kenya Q1 2016 sales transactions percentages driven by prescriber are 15.6% in retail pharmacies and 78.3% in outpatient pharmacies). This means the prescriber controls mostly what pharmacists dispense at pharmacy level, although most prescriptions end up substituted.

Self-belief is vital, but a huge ego can be detrimental, especially when you are handling “ghost prescriptions”, prescriptions via text or repeat prescriptions. So why am I sharing this?

  1. You may assume the prescriber misspelled one of the drugs then give out what you think is right without confirming
  2. You may assume the prescriber is right ending up with the wrong dose frequency, worst-case scenario being an overdose.

While most of us are tech savvy or reliant on technology, you might still end up on a stalemate with a prescriber via text despite all of us growing up in a world which is not only pervasive but also virtually unavoidable tech wise. How would you dispense a prescription only medicine (POM) via text at a time where quite a majority of people have whatsapp or email accounts? This might make the pharmacist suspicious and they might end up not filling the prescription.

It is little surprise that literary that might happen in most chemists but I am impressed most pharmacists will call to confirm with the prescriber.

Types Of Prescriptions

How we classify prescriptions is taking new shape, we may classify prescriptions according to age or diagnosis both of which are determined by the prescriber. After studying a number of prescriptions, I found a new way we can classify prescriptions I thought it would be interesting to share. If you are new in the pharmacy grab, a pen and piece of paper, we are going to learn something new.

  • Handwritten prescriptions

Most of us are familiar with these types of prescriptions; they are straightforward and easy to interpret. For someone new these can be trouble at first but with two three prescriptions they are good to go.

If you are not sure or you are unable to construe whatever the physician prescribed, confirm first with your colleagues, a prescription can be hard to interpret even for a pharmacist who has dispensed more than 20 years. For a case like this, and when you are alone it is advisable for you to call the prescriber to be super sure.

  • Printed prescriptions

When you are used to handwritten prescriptions these might confuse a little, if you have handled a number of them you will understand what that can be. The best part is you will have no trouble interpreting these type of prescriptions because they are comprehensible compared to the scribbled handwritten ones.

The only trouble you will have on this is maybe the dosages and frequencies, if you are not sure just as the handwritten ones call the prescriber before dispensing.

  • “Ghost prescriptions”

Let us call them that for now; I will come up with a new name with time. So what are “ghost prescriptions”? These are prescriptions with no name of patient, no prescriptions information, no date and that all. The prescriber probably was in a rush and just went straight to prescribing medications.

If you are able to interpret the prescription and you are very sure what you are about to give is correct, all you need to do is confirm the age of the person taking then advice accordingly. Refer back to the prescriber if you are not comfortable.

  • Text message prescriptions

These are prescriptions send via text messages for various reasons;

  • The person prescribing is very far and is not possible for the prescriber and patient to meet for a hard copy prescription,
  •  The person buying the medicines forgot to carry the prescription to the pharmacy so he asks someone to send what is written on the prescription
  • A friend recommends some medicine that worked well for them.

For text prescriptions, you can choose not to dispense depending with what the physician prescribed. For instance for a drug that is controlled you are never sure the prescriber is legit.

  • Email or WhatsAppprescriptions

These are prescriptions send digitally via whatsapp or email usually scanned or a pic taken with a smartphone and send to the person dispensing.

This is either a handwritten prescription or a printed prescription is send electro nically. Always confirm with the sender that what they send is the right prescription and it is up to date.

Sanofi Swaps Products With Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim swapped its consumer healthcare products for animal health products from Sanofi Aventis. This means, Boehringer Ingelheim sold its consumer healthcare products range to Sanofi while Sanofi on the other hand sold its animal health part to Boehringer.

Sanofi Aventis is known for offering the most advanced, exceptionally versatile and superior pharmaceutical products. This is a great opportunity for Sanofi since it’s dominating the African market as leading supplier of human health products. Sanofi’s excellent strategy in marketing has achieved this position in the market and won the respect of its partners through its varied range of products, setting itself quality standards and constantly translating new knowledge into products and services.

Sanofi has been doing well with it’s Rhinathiol range of products therefore with new products on board we expect a good business venture for them. Fast moving Boehringer’s products like buscopan, mucosolvan e.t.c will be under Sanofi. Sanofi has recently lanched a new product “Maalox stick” to the Kenyan market which is already doing well.

It’s exciting that Sanofi will continue to provide high-quality and cost effective products for treatment and management of diseases hence promoting fast and early prevention of these diseases. This will ensure the best possible outcomes and comfort to the patient.

How Is Acnes Mentholatum Doing In Nairobi?


Acnes is currently the best-selling and fast moving beauty product for acne or pimples. Comes as acnes metholatum set and acnes treatment set is what most ladies are going for in beauty shops and supermarkets. With a few months of thorough advertisements in the streets I thought it’s time for; how is Acnes doing in Nairobi?

The beauty of a woman mostly depends on her face, not just women but both genders. The face is what essentially gives the first impression anywhere, therefore a face that has so many pimples can lower a person’s self-esteem especially females. We have number of females who have moved from one dermatologist to another seeking to have a smoother face with no success. Most dermatologists are very expensive and what they prescribe to be used in several months is not cheap either. Women are active users of beauty products and what works well to one she’ll recommend the same to more than three other women. These women are still searching for a product they can trust and they are willing to pay even more for so long as it is giving better results.

Every time I ask females who have been using acnes for a few months they as say,

” it was good but…”

“Acnes worked for my friend but it didn’t work on me”

“My skin started peeling”

“I stopped the pimples are back again, do I need to use it forever”

I get surprised since those, are not the answers I expected from the users. Stopping use of a product because your skin started peeling of is not a valid reason for stopping the use of a product, this could mean you are not using that product well or you are not following the instructions carefully. Acnes set of product has; creamy wash, sealing gel, toner and one to remove black spots and one of those could be the one affecting your type of skin you not being aware.

Most women like products that work affectively without bringing in more complication, a complain like acnes peeling of their skin could lead to them dumping the product and going for the next new one in the market. This will actually affect the sales for no apparent reason, maybe they are not using it well or it’s not working … you never can tell.

What To Check For When Looking For A Blood Testing Kit

blood glucose strips Kenya

Blood glucose checkup is necessary for knowing whether your glucose levels are well controlled and if the medication you are taking is working. Most patients have a challenge in choosing between glucometers, there are many glucometers in the market and it is confusing choosing a reliable home testing glucometer. Most patients end up purchasing glucometers whose strips are hardly accessible. Here are some of the things you should consider before buying your set of glucometer.

1. Availability of the strips

Strips should be available in most leading chemists and surgical retailers. This will save time instead of the walk from one chemist to another looking for the strips. You may need to buy the strips monthly and therefore the strips being available at your local chemist where you buy your monthly medicines would help save time,

2. Cost of the strips

Diabetes is a long time condition and treatment is usually long-term, this means you will continue using the strips as long as you are still under medication. The cost of medicines and the strips should be an amount that is affordable to you.

3. Battery life of the strips

A long battery life shows the efficiency of the glucose testing device. A good battery gives accurate results and chances of you getting faulty readings are less. Accurate glucose average readings will assist your physician to make proper decisions in case there is need to alter your prescription dosages.

4. Glucometer accuracy

Inaccurate readings happen for a variety of reasons, including human error. But such errors can usually be corrected without much effort. Go for a glucometer that gives readings in less than 5 seconds. The fastest a glucometer takes to give a value shows more accuracy of the glucometer.

5. Glucometer should be easy to use

Glucometers that require changing the codes each time you buy new strips can be confusing especially for the elderly. Glucometers that are code free come in handy in case you’re the type that doesn’t like complications. But this should not be the reason of you choosing a low-quality device, if you are going for a code free pack make sure it is of better quality.

The five above points will assist when choosing a glucometer, having your own glucometer at home is not illegal and could help in monitoring your glucose levels at home. This saves time and money instead of going to your local chemist or clinic for frequent checkups. All you need to understand is the ranges when the glucose is high or low. This can be explained to you by your local pharmacist or doctor.

Late Hours Prescription Refills

Vwani Late Hours

While everyone else whines about income inequality, I’m something about it. I’m looking for a side hassle, it is shocking that my brain can’t wrap around exactly how this could be. I need to cater to the desires of my heart which seems to mostly involve spending more time on the internet clicking links.

To practice being a blogger I spent most of my hours checking local blogs. There are a lot of upcoming blogs, some have been there for a while. BAKE has registered some of them, about me I want to be discrete and extraordinary, personalized, I wish to give something not overwhelming but always there so guys can’t miss anything.

I scribbled something into my notebook, this was going to be my first blog post, is when I arrived at the daily meeting, which began with the usual insanely charming managing director. Looked like customer service was the key thing, will I have a job? What’s being a pharmacist like? I tried noting down everything to save me a lot of trouble trying to memorize stuff.

His vibe, it turns out, is way more than I thought because I had underestimated a lot. He has a profile of most clients back in his mind. One client filling their prescription two years ago had slow service, which will definitely not happen again. There are a lot of people referred to as “sensitive customers” which I’m pretty sure means “total jerks”. One doesn’t like their pills in pieces, if it’s a strip let it be a strip. Another will want medication and water given to him as other clients sit waiting. And one women believe it or not demanded to be addressed as miss Kenya 2015, though in fairness,she was just an ordinary lady you’ll meet next to Ambassador Hotel  waiting for a matatu to take her home early in the morning.

Before my shift, I asked the in-charge what to do if a client asks me for something illegal, like dispensing prescription only medicine (POM) without them showing their prescription… Alfred recommended saying, non – judge mentally, “we just can’t do that because we can’t guarantee the quality of the experience. He will however, agree to get just about anything legal.

“I’m going to see my doctor next week, just misplaced my prescription”. This can’t cure one problem though, no more arguing about refills for psychos. Doctors will be forced to ePrescribing of anti-psychotics to prevent their offices from being swarmed by people buying a hard copy. Nothing better can come out of this.

When I started my night shift I noticed that truly Nairobi is a sex den, this time guys don’t ask much. That’s because “mpango wa kando” sex is always urgent. I noticed these group of people like the rest of us are last minute guys. They also like disco restaurants, night clubs with hot chiqs and drinks that involve blue moon and the rest lately banned. We are heading to a city with regular alcoholic beverages and casual sex.

Still I was impressed at some of the ingenious ways men used to ask for libido boosting pills. One lady had to figure out something, she drew on a piece of paper what she wanted, later we learned she needed emergency pills, we had no problem selling that to her.

At the end of the night before I left the in – charge called me and said I would make a great pharmacist. I had kept my cool and bantered with some of the clients and I got useful connections admittedly largely at this pharmacy. Next time when am prepared to serve, my first question is going to be whether pharmacist are allowed to make mistakes or not.