A community pharmacy is a room within a hospital or health centre where medicines are stored and dispensed co-managed by the community and the health personnel. A pharmacy attendant (PA) with well-defined qualities and qualifications is selected by Management Committee in collaboration with the Chief of Health Unit and trained by NWRFHP PIG. He or she is in charge of dispensing medicines within that community’s hospital or health centre pharmacy by performing tasks such as reception of prescriptions, dispensing medicines, manage inventory and handles cash generated at the pharmacy. The number of community pharmacies in the supply chain of NWRFHP PIG has considerably evolved over the years. The NWRFHP PIG supports Community Pharmacies in the areas of supervision/ control, recruitment and training of new pharmcy attendants (PAs), capacity building of existing PAs and financial support for PA salaries, incentives and CNPS dues among others. Some of these community pharmacies are found in very remote areas of the North West region and transportation of medicines to those localities is often a problem. The number has evolved considerably from 59 in 1987 to 217 in 2017
Evolution in the Number of Community Pharmacies 1897-2017
In front of community pharmacies is pasted a list of essential medicines used in the North West region. These are medicines that satisfy the health care needs of the majority of the population and are available at all times in adequate amounts and in appropriate dosage forms. This list of essential medicines is not static. It is revised periodically by a committee made up of medical officers, pharmacists and nurses that ensure that the quality, safety, efficacy, and cost of the medicines are taken into consideration. This committee at Regional level is called the Regional Medicine and Therapeutic Committee.