Latest NPDP News

Latest NPDP News

New Beneficiaries Announced for National Prescription Drug Plan

3/27/2011 12:18:00 AM
Seven new groups of Bahamians, including public officers, can now apply to reap the benefits of the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP) administered by the National Insurance Board.

In the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 24, the Rt Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Minister responsible for National Insurance, announced the launch of Phase 1Aof NPDP, which authorized the inclusion of the following as the newest beneficiaries:
  1. Indigent persons;
  2. Staff of Her Majesty's Prison and the Industrial Schools;
  3. Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force;
  4. Members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force;
  5. Officers employed in the Public Service;
  6. Persons receiving ante-natal care, care connected with child birth, post natal care or any other medical care associated with pregnancy; and
  7. Persons in receipt of disablement benefit assessed at one hundred per centum under the National Insurance (Benefit and Assistance) Regulations.
Algernon Cargill, Director, the National Insurance Board, has advised that these newly eligible persons may apply to activate membership in the National Prescription Drug Plan by completing application forms that are available at all local offices of the National Insurance Board, doctors’ offices, government and private clinics and most pharmacies. Application forms can also be downloaded from the NPDP website – www.nibdrugplan.com.

Mr Cargill advised further:“I would like to remind the general public and those who belong to the newly eligible groups that NPDP is specifically geared to assist Bahamians who suffer from one or more of the 11 chronic diseases targeted by NIB and bear the often considerable cost of long-term medication.

“The chronic ailments covered by the Plan include arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, major depression, prostate cancer and psychosis. All applicants must have their condition and forms certified by a physician licensed with the Bahamas Medical Council. Once this is done, the forms may be submitted to any NIB Office in The Bahamas or directly to the National Prescription Drug Plan Office located at the NIB building on Wulff Road, New Providence for approval. Beneficiaries must be approved by Drug Plan before they can be provided with the necessaryACE Prescription Cards.”

Mr Cargill commented on the Parliamentary approval of the expansion of coverage under the National Prescription Drug Plan.

“From the outset, the design of NPDP has made provision for all Bahamians suffering from chronic ailments to be included in plan, phased in according to the sensitivity of their situation. In this second phase, we are particularly pleased to extend coverage to those whose job it is to contribute directly to public safety and national development. NIB is now also actively considering adding two more groups; that is,Bahamians who now qualify for retirement grants instead of pensions and Bahamians who receive Survivor’s Benefits and Assistance from the National Insurance Board. Weare seeking government approval to amend the Chronic Diseases Prescription Drug Fund Act in this regard. The public will be advised in due course. Eventually, when the contributory element of NPDP is in place, all Bahamians will be afforded membership in the NPDP.”

In response to alarming data from the Ministry of Health and private insurance companies indicating that one in three Bahamians suffers from one or more chronic illnesses, the National Insurance Board launched the two-pronged National Prescription Drug Plan in September 2010. The initiative consists of the Prescription Drug Plan and the ‘Healthy People’ Programme of which ‘Get Well Bahamas’ is a key component. NPDP is focused on increasing chronic suffers’ access to their physician-prescribed medications, reducing the need for such drugs through increasing levels of fitness and decreasing contributing lifestyle problems.

Currently, the Drug Plan aspect is providing prescription drugs and associated medical supplies free of charge to Bahamians in four categories – NIB pensioners, NIB invalids, children, and Bahamians over 65 years from a formulary comprising more than 165 drugsthat are used in the treatment of the targeted chronic illnesses. The complete list of drugs and adjunct supplies provided by the Plan has been published in a comprehensive and informative patient guide that is available to current beneficiaries and eligible persons at the Drug Plan Office on Wulff Road and at NIB local offices.

Private and public pharmacists in New Providence, Grand Bahama and throughout the Family Islands now fill an average of six (6) thousand prescriptions monthly for beneficiaries of the plan. NIB’s annual budget for prescription medications exceeds $10 million for beneficiaries in Phase 1.

“We wanted to turn the spotlight on the high incidence of life-threatening, chronic lifestyle disease among Bahamians and to foster a culture of wellness in our community in order to increase healthy life expectancy, reduce the burden of illness and enhance the overall quality of life of the population. NIB is determined to make a real difference in the fight to reduce the level of the chronic diseases that plague the citizens of this country,” Mr Cargill said.

“I’m pleased to report that the NPDP Team is doing an excellent job in providing service to beneficiaries covered in Phase 1 and it is my commitment, as Director of NIB, that this same level of service will continue with the beneficiaries being added in Phase 1A. I encourage all members of the public to read about the Drug Plan on our website, www.nibdrugplan.com. This site has a wealth of information about the NPDP and will answer most of the questions that you may have. However, if further clarity is required, please do not hesitate to contact the Drug Plan Team at 356-2070 or via email communication,” Mr Cargill said.
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