Access to Free Medication
A pharmacy scheme was a good way for the small pilot companies to assist employees by bridging the gap in their health system. A local pharmacy was contracted by the companies to supply any prescribed medications that were not readily available at the free, government-run clinics where the diagnosis took place. The pilot companies would then pay the pharmacy for the medications at the end of the month. The pharmacy was centrally located and served all employees well.
Advantages of Pharmacy Scheme
At the time of the closeout survey, 34 employee households had benefitted from the scheme.
Findings show that 28% of employees who hadn’t received prescribed medication at their health facility in the last 6 months saved 2% to 3% of their income by accessing medication from the pharmacy instead of purchasing it themselves.
63% of employees who accessed the pharmacy scheme noted that before the scheme they borrowed funds with an interest to purchase medication. 53% had borrowed at a rate of between 21% and 50% and a more detailed probe indicated that 27% of them borrowed at a rate of between 5% and 20% while the minority (20%) borrowed at a rate above 50%. The scheme removed the need to borrow at such high rates.