One of the questions frequently asked of Bless Back is, “Where do you get the medications you use in your clinic?” This is a pivotal question because patient safety is our top priority! In Haiti, the problems with medicine are multi-faceted. On the supply side, pharmaceuticals are not regulated, therefore the market is filled with expired pills, tainted and counterfeit drugs, and mislabeled prescriptions. News reports from within Haiti regularly highlight deaths and injuries due to these faulty drugs. To compound the issue, most Haitians purchase medications from vendors walking the streets with baskets loaded with blister packs of pills in a rainbow of colors. These merchants have no medical background but dispense their goods freely along with medical advice.
When our Haitian patients ask, “Where do you get your medicine?”, they can rest easy. Our pharmacy dispenses only medications purchased from reliable sources in the United States. Quarterly, we transport the pharmaceuticals and supplies that the clinic uses on a daily basis. We established a consistent formulary of medications our pharmacy stocks and carefully monitor each prescription that is written. Qualified nursing professionals dispense the prescriptions along with necessary patient education to ensure a safe outcome.
We are grateful for our pharmaceutical suppliers, Blessings International and Medicap Pharmacy who offer affordable, quality medications. Supplying a year-round clinic with drugs is a formidable task and costs more than $25,000 yearly. Your generous donations to the Bless Back Medical Fund help us continue to serve hundreds of patients each month.
You can read more about the Haitian street vendors in a National Geographic article here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/side-effect-haiti-street-medicine-sellers/