IRISH independent pharmacists have launched a nationwide health management service they claim will provide patients with full medical consultations without a doctor’s appointment.
Intervene aims to provide patients with reliable medical information, customised treatment programmes and a means of monitoring their conditions through their local independent pharmacy.
Intervene was set up by Cork pharmacist Garvan Lynch and co-founder Sheena Lynch, as a means of bring pharmacy back to a clinical profession, while also providing a health monitoring service that GPs cannot due to time constraints.
According to Ms Lynch, the number of people visiting GPs to treat chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and asthma, which can be treated but not cured, is a serious burden on the healthcare system.
“Four out of five people presenting at a GP consultation relate to chronic illness and its complications.
“Independent pharmacists have a huge wealth of knowledge that is not being used to the best benefit of the customer at the moment. Intervene changes all of that.
“For example if you have been diagnosed with diabetes by your GP you can now go to your local independent pharmacy to be given an explanation of what drugs you are using, an explanation of what the illness is and a customised programme that monitors your condition.”
Patients will also be given access to an online database of information about their illness as well as clinically proven diet, exercise and nutrition plans to follow between consultations with their pharmacist, with no charge for accessing the website.
The cost of the service ranges from €45 for a single private consultation with a pharmacist to €240 for a six week treatment programme.
Over 20 independent pharmacists have already signed up for Intervene, with more than 70 others nationwide interested in joining the group.
Mr Lynch said Intervene will complement GP services.
“The concept will work both ways – time-poor GPs will have a resource to manage conditions and clinics will lead to referrals to GPs,” said Ms Lynch.
According to Ms Lynch, Intervene will also aid independent pharmacists to overcome the threat of multinational pharmaceutical companies.
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