10 Things That Happened in 2018 we are Soon Forgetting About


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Finally am posting something in 2019! I wanted to post this a.s.a.p. so that I concentrate on other things as we kick off the year but unfortunately that did not happen. There is a lot I missed to write about that I think I should have at least written something about. I came up with this list as a reminder on some of the things that I missed and which certainly might shape up 2019.  It is not a regular post but I am excited it is somehow going to act like a reference point to some of the things that might come up in 2019 and the future. At some point I wanted to add links, but then I all of a sudden changed my mind.

Codeine based cough syrups moved from OTC to Rx raising the street value of benylin with codeine; addicts were left with no supplies as the PPB continues to tighten its belt.

The PPB improves its website to see pharmaceutical practitioners access most of their manual paper work through a fast developed portal.

GPL opens more pharmacies expanding its chain pharmacy to a dozen more stores in Nairobi and upcountry, also becomes the first pharmacy in Kenya to pull a TV ad.

2018 came to an end with a stimulating debate when it emerged that researchers in China had created the world’s first CRISPR gene edited babies.

What’s the benefit of the internet with frequent cyber bullying? In May 2018 the government of Kenya signed into law the Computer and Cyber Crime Act into law.

Mental health becomes a serious topic of discussion on social media.

KNH amazes everyone after a baby is stolen from the hospital only a day later to be found in Kawagware after news of the loss went viral.

Nairobi governor Mike sonko gives Pumwani hospital an impromptu visit then finds 12 dead babies hidden at hospital, this gave everyone divided views about the quality of treatment in the hospital.

Marie stops Kenya controversial ad leaves Kenyans with no words to say. The ad was about “helping” a pregnant young woman take care of an unplanned pregnancy. No one knew what exactly they meant by helping but at the end of the day the Kenya films and classification board so it pulled down.

Medics east Africa changed their tradition location from Oshwal Centre to KICC due to unavoidable circumstances which turned out to be a more convenient location for visitors although the number of exhibitors has since reduced compared to previous medical shows.

How To Bargain In The Pharmacy

“You are very expensive, by the way you are too expensive” regardless of the pharmacy most customers will always say the prices are high. So many customers if not all think that by saying another pharmacy is selling the same medicines at a cheaper price is the most effective way of forcing a pharmacy to lowering their price. Surprisingly they always manage to convince the person selling the medicines, but let us agree to one thing Kenyans can really bargain! Funny thing, a person will argue the price of a certain item is very high while they have never purchased it before, to the extent of claiming, a given pharmacy had quoted a lower figure and as matter of fact that pharmacy doesn’t even have the item they are taking about. No business is immune to this either, this happens everywhere.

I have come to think of it; that most people prefer paying more to something that gives them more pleasure irrespective of whether they are being overcharged or no. So much energy is used to bargain to the last shilling, energy that could have been useful elsewhere. Sometimes it is even hard to tell whether the price you are being charged is the actual price or price after discount. Most business people raise prices to some random figure so that they have bargaining allowance to the actual price that they are supposed to charge.

Knowing when to bargain and when not to bargain is an art most clients have never felt the interest to nature. Don’t bargain just because you want to bargain, some customers bargain too much to the extent that they irritate the person selling medication for no apparent reason. Imagine serving five customers and all of them don’t agree with you on price, so instead of concentrating on how the medicine works and the vital information that is meant to be passed to the patient most of the time is consumed on bargaining. It is disturbing that a customer can bargain for like 30 minutes just because they want to save 20 shillings. Worse of it all they act shocked when they are told they are supposed to avoid alcohol for a few days. You don’t want to pay for medicine that is less than what you spend on alcohol but still insist you can’t do without alcohol, so you can afford alcohol but can’t afford medicines to treat yourself.

But bargaining is good, you save get to save money that you could have lost if you kept quiet. Especially when a prescription is going for three or more months so much is saved at the end of it all. Comparing prices in one or two pharmacies can help make a wise decision. Asking your pharmacy nicely if the prices could be lower or whether they have discounts is a decent way of making a prescription cheaper. Most guys go with their “full chests” demanding for discounts end up spending even more because of being arrogant.

Cap 244 To Give More Room For Pharmaceutical Imports


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There is always the perception that when you have your own pharmaceutical company which is importing products into the country then you might just be making more than 100% profits. This is true. Cap 244 well known as the pharmacy and poisons act is being reviewed for some considerations and that is either going to be good news or bad news once the health bill reaches parliament. The constitution may give equal rights both for the diploma holder and degree holder to import and do wholesale distribution of poisons. This is where the mess begins at. Some pharmaceutical practitioners have a feeling this is going to be a key to numerous unlimited possibilities.

The pharmaceutical business is doing well; there is so much hope for more success in the coming years. Experts and experienced professions on the other hand are worried a tweak on cap 244 could bring down the healthcare system in no time. There is less or no research going on and the number of professional healthcare think tanks keeps going down as new graduates come in to the industry. This could derail one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s strategic objectives, that is, Universal Health Coverage. As a pillar for the Big Four Agenda the main aim is to develop the country’s healthcare system and provide all Kenyans with access to quality and affordable healthcare. This could be achieved by allowing more people to import but unfortunately the benefits could outweigh the risks.

The health CS thinks this may disorient the Pharmacy and Poisons Board main goal which is, “to make better provision for the control of the profession of pharmacy and the trade in drugs and poisons”

“If we already have challenges with the few that are importing what about giving more room…” The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health, Sicily Kariuki views on the healthcare bill.

There is mixed feelings out there among pharmaceutical practitioners on this topic, anyway a few issues for a fact are going to come up; There is going to be no research with great business. Uncontrolled reckless importing of drugs could lead to more generics & some substandard drugs. Trust issues between the consumer and pharmaceutical practitioner might even become worse. We will have a controlled drug crisis. Patients might get access to cheaper medicines whereby the quality can’t be guaranteed.

May any changes being made be to the best interest of the public, the future is in our hands, decisions made now are the ones that determine our future.

 

123 About Diabetes

 

A projected 300 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. Moreover, the number is set to rise dramatically. Prevention therefore stopping people from getting diabetes in the first place remains the best form of treatment. November being a diabetes awareness month it is advantageous to have your blood glucose reading checked.  This is a simple test, which can be easily done at your closest healthcare provider, pharmacy, laboratory or clinic. Checking the readings regularly for diabetic patients can make a big difference on how they manage the condition.

Diabetes is a long-term disorder characterized by a raised level of glucose {or sugar} in the blood. Permanently elevated blood sugar levels are the key indicator for this metabolic disorder. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus: diabetes mellitus type 1, which mostly affects younger adults, it is when the body cannot make insulin as most insulin-producing cells have been destroyed. The other type is type 2, which is often brought on by a poor diet and lack of exercise. For this case, the body cannot make enough insulin or the insulin produced cannot be used properly, usually occurs later in life but is becoming common in younger population.

Diabetes is a disease with severe complications; this can limit how people function physically. Elevated glucose levels cause long-term damage of kidneys, blood vessels, heart and nerves. Serious complications of diabetes mellitus include renal damage, heart attack, loss of sight, diabetic foot syndrome and even organ failure. In a worst case-scenario, diabetic foot leads to amputation.

I am glad a good number of diabetes patients in Kenya are not ignorant about their condition; most of them are compliant to medication and are cautious about their diet. Mostly diet is crucial in controlling blood glucose levels in combination with medication prescribed by a physician. On the other hand, it is alarming to hear about a group of people that is living in denial. It is always hard for them to understand that diabetes is a long-term condition and most of the time treatment is usually long term. These patients do not take their medications regularly leading to complications and uncontrolled blood glucose.

Just to note Kenyans do not have specific treatment guidelines for diabetes mellitus. This means most of the prescriptions prescribed are typically customized according to the patient’s response to treatment.  The prescriber adopts what works well for the patient; the prescription there after is tailored from time to time.

Happy diabetes month!

 

No Party Is Complete Without Booze And Girls!

Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash
Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

No party is complete without booze and girls! Ha-ha! It iseither come with girls I have alcohol or come with alcohol I have girls.Alcohol must be the best discovery all time. No one, not even a pharmaceuticalcompany is yet to discover a molecular formula for a drink that brings peopletogether other than alcohol. The confidence and success alcohol generatesregardless of the situation is undisputed. Alcohol brings successful peopletogether just like it brings failures together also alcohol can put the richand the poor on the same table. Despite all this alcohol is rated one of themost dangerous drinks contributing to % of deaths every year.

Almost 90% of Kenyan youths living in Nairobi are taking alcohol more than three times a week some even on a daily basis. There is no complete party or gathering that is complete without alcohol, if it is not provided by the event organizers it will find its ways there since someone is always carrying their alcohol there. Some even contribute “changa ya mzinga” then send someone to buy and sneak it to the event.

Alcohol causes impaired judgment, and this is what everyone goes for when they are enjoying it not caring about the risk that comes with that. Excess alcohol drunk doesn’t kill since when a person takes it excess they will vomit it later but excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health. Someone may die by inhaling the vomits. Through impaired judgment alcohol may lead to poor decision making that they might end up regretting later or worse lead to death.

Drinking and driving yourself home is not recommended as alcohol impairs vision or sometimes causes drowsiness which can lead to an accident. One may get HIV or STI by sleeping with a partner unplanned and not using a condom or if a condom is used changes are high it will not be used correctly. Too much alcohol can lead to dependency making them lose moral in family and work. This may cost someone their several years of marriage or their job. Girls can get unplanned pregnancies or get sexually violated by strangers.

Youths need to regulate their alcohol consumption and avoid peer pressure as that is what introduces many of them to that. Do not drink and drive, get someone to drive you home – get a taxi instead. Girls don’t go about drinking excessively by yourself have a close friend with you and if a stranger tells you to stay all night drinking with them tell him you have an early morning appointment with your gynecologist.

No More Random OTC Codein


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The moment an Rx friend of mine hit my WhatsApp with information that all OTC products with codeine including BWC were to be pulled from the main shelves to behind the counter I knew it was going to be chaotic after all. I wasn’t feeling anything like writing about it at that time I needed time at least for absorbing that shock. I was like “…but our store can’t do without codeine especially BWC our sales are going to fall”. That was like hot cake! I really felt the pain especially with no more random OTC betapyns dispensed.

Some biznus almost closed down before the recent PPB crackdown when PPB inspectors where draining the swamp. There is BWC on the shelf that is stagnant, cannot be sold. No Rxs coming through and without undertaking letters No returning back to supplier. Where a normal day boasted with give me a #6 pack BWC & 3 packs of Byn that came down to 0. At least some physicians are throwing in a three day dose of codeine tablets on coming prescriptions which is not bad.

On a regular day we are getting used to no prescription, no conversation. The street significance of codeine syrups became relevant with zero to supply in the black market. It appears that everyone wasn’t just ready for this kind of scenario. Now diazepam, BWC, Byn and other narcotics that require Rxs are cruising in the same boat and probably they will catch up with rohypnol. Guidelines are now at kindly give me your prescription please and let’s not argue about that. No more please talk to my doctor excuses, instead get a handwritten one – they will read.

I lied! No one is prescribing any codeines first place, but did we die? The pharmacy is still decent with less codeine activity on the counters and as a matter of fact they weren’t that necessary. #Panadocetamo is still working well for acute headaches. And yes, we have alternative cough suppressants on the shelves which are less addictive. Although lawsuits and bills out there are after the legalization of marijuana I am also quite sure it is also going to be a POM