Almost 4,000 sickle cell patients to receive free medication in Jamaica

Thousands of Jamaicans living with the sickle cell disease will be exempt from paying fees at public pharmacies.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams (File photo)

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, made the announcement at a Post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday (February 24).

According to Williams, the exemption means sickle cell patients of the Sickle Cell Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies, can fill their prescriptions for free at public pharmacies.

“There are approximately 18,000 persons with sickle cell disease in Jamaica, and 22% or 3,600 of these persons currently seek care from the sickle cell unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies,” said Williams.

She continued, “These persons were not able to access medication that was available free of cost to sicklers who sought care in the public health system.”

The measure will cost the Government $36 million which will be supplied through the pharmaceutical budget of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.