Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) opened the doors to their new oncology pharmacy yesterday at their official launch hosted at the Hospital. The launch saw upgrades to the equipment and increased floor space, allowing the pharmacy to now treat more patients, more effectively.
Cancer is one of the major causes of death in both the developed and undeveloped world, including South Africa. Adding to this, the rising incidence of cancer in South Africa means that more patients are in need of quality cancer care, which CMJAH can and does offer.
The oncology pharmacy at CMJAH is incredibly important to the treatment of cancer patients. “Patients, nurses and oncologists rely on the pharmacy and its pharmacists. The pharmacists do not just dispense cancer treatment – they are responsible for the rigorous safety and handling requirements for oncology medicines. This requires safe, clean and modern facilities, which we now have,” said Professor Paul Ruff, Head of Medical Oncology at CMJAH.
Prior to the upgrade, this well-known academic hospital treated more than 25 000 patients a year, and thanks to the renovations, will now be able to improve on this number. It used to lack sufficient space and didn’t meet equipment requirements in order to guarantee safe, appropriate and cost effective use of the cancer medicines they were preparing.
The refurbishment to the pharmacy was done by the Innovative Cancer Care Foundation (ICCF), a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing access issues for patients. Thanks to a general donation from leading oncology pharmaceutical company, Roche Products (Pty) Ltd, the pharmacy can better manage their stock and now has the required safety equipment.
The CMJAH oncology pharmacy currently has six specialised pharmacists preparing cancer treatments. Although patients, family and friends never consistently interact with the pharmacists, they play an integral part of a patient’s cancer care journey. If a patient or nurse has any questions about cancer medication, the oncology pharmacist is a helpful resource.
“The impact of the refurbished unit on staff and patients will be phenomenal. Staff morale will improve as they are working in a pleasant and efficient environment, and patients can receive their treatments safely and with dignity. It is a win-win for all,” ICCF CEO, Jeanette Schwegman says.
Roche Products are proud sponsors of the upgrade to the CMJAH oncology clinic and the pharmacy. Roche invests in cancer treatment and is a long-standing sponsor of cancer education and awareness in South Africa.
“As a leading supplier of innovative cancer treatment, Roche welcomed this opportunity to join ICFF and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in order to provide better care for cancer patients in the greater Gauteng area. We see this as a vital step in combatting the cancer burden faced by the South African public and Roche looks forward to furthering this partnership with the Johannesburg Department of Health,” said Dr Cindy Aitton, Head of Medical Affairs at Roche Management Centre South Africa.
The event took place yesterday, 23 July 2014, from 09:30 until 10:30 at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Johannesburg.