As millions of pharmacists celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Pharmacists Day today, PHARMAC Chief Executive Sarah Fitt acknowledges the extraordinary work done by New Zealand pharmacists and pharmacy staff this year.

“It feels appropriate as we mark World Pharmacists Day 2020 to acknowledge vital work our community and hospital pharmacists do to serve their communities so well, despite the challenges COVID-19 continues to bring,” says Fitt.

Before joining PHARMAC, Sarah Fitt spent 12 years as Chief Pharmacist at Auckland City Hospital and before that worked as a clinical pharmacist in the NHS specialising in HIV, intensive care and hepatology. She is one of 13 PHARMAC staff who have also worked as pharmacists.

Fitt understands the pressures faced by our pharmacists and believes both community and hospital pharmacists have done a great job supporting their patients throughout the COVID-19 lockdown and through the recent alert levels.

COVID-19 has slowed or halted activities in manufacturing plants and impacted the importation of medicines and devices globally. As a result there has been increasing disruption to supply. Some medicines have had to stay on, or return to, monthly dispensing, other medicines have had to temporarily change brands.

PHARMAC has appreciated the support that pharmacists and pharmacy staff have provided to their patients to ensure they continue to receive their medicines.

“PHARMAC’s priority is to ensure all New Zealanders have access to funded medicines and medical devices, and because of the amazing work of community and hospital pharmacists around New Zealand we have been able to continue to do this, even during a global pandemic.

“And for that, we say thank you,” concludes Fitt.


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