Independent Practitioners Association Foundation

Diabetic Screening.

IPAFs Position on Pharmacy chains performing Diabetic screening

IPAF is totally committed to addressing the reduction of type 2 diabetes in the South African community. The key person in the value chain is however the Family Practitioner as he is ideally suited to influence behaviour change and emphasise sustained weight loss, exercise and diet.

The Scheme offers our members tailored benefit plans that are competitive, comprehensive and affordable. Bankmed also offers wellness support to our employer clients and members. The Scheme's wellness programme includes preventive screening, disease management programmes, and various tools to maintain and improve your good health. In addition, members have access to a programme that rewards them for healthy behaviour.

It is therefore with a sense of amazement that we again note the concerted attempts at diabetic screening , diagnosis and control by large retails pharmaceutical chains in partnership with manufacturers of expensive antidiabetic medicines.

None of these advertising campaigns emphasise the essential importance of the Family Practitioner in the value chain (apart from stating that abnormal results will be referred to medical practitioners.)

This give the totally incorrect impression that Family Practitioners are there merely to treat uncontrolled diabetics! This could not be further from the truth, The Family doctor is integral to the early diagnosis, prevention and control of diabetes

Retail pharmacy chains flagrantly continue to sell produce which is overtly diabetogenic, without warning the general public (or even the very same diabetic patients) of the dangers of the items they so readily and greedily sell over the counter at huge markups and minimal concern for their patrons future health.

Major Medical aid organisations are rapidly retreating from their previous positions of marginalising the Family Practitioners as this has proven to be non cost-effective, and in fact has driven up the costs of healthcare!

The Family Doctor is the CENTRE of primary healthcare for the patient NOT the large pharmacy chain.

As well meaning as the current campaigns may be, IPAF warns that they may be merely focussed around greed and profits. The most expensive antidiabetic agents are not necessarily always necessary or the best!

Without the Family Practitioner firmly on board, these spurious campaigns are doomed to fail whilst lining the pockets of the drug manufacturers!