From its new office in the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Banco Farmacéutico is working to offer solutions to the problem of “pharmaceutical poverty,” or a person’s inability to cover the cost of needed medical products, particularly in the case of individuals suffering from serious or chronic illness.
Established as a non-profit association in 2005, Banco Farmacéutico’s mission is to facilitate access to medicine for people living in situations of social exclusion and poverty. The work programme focuses on three areas: research, visibility and awareness-raising, as well as direct attention to people in situations of vulnerability. The goal is to create a positive and reinforcing feedback loop that contributes to making society more just and inclusive of the disadvantaged.
In the sphere of research, the Observatory of Pharmaceutical Poverty spearheads the Banco Farmacéutico’s efforts to investigate this reality in the Spanish context. This scientific project offers knowledge that can serve as a foundation to define strategies and plans to eradicate of this grave and often-invisible social problem.
Banco Farmacéutico widely disseminates the Obseratory’s data to make the challenge of pharmaceutical poverty more visible. Likewise, an annual campaign runs every year to raise public awareness about this issue and engage public administrations in the initiative. With the motto Medicamentos Solidarios, the campaign collects funds used as direct assistance to people in need of support. In 2019, the campaign will run from May 18th through the 24th.
Finally, the purpose of the Social Fund for Medicine is to ensure that no patient is forced to renounce his or her treatment for lack of economic resources. The Fund is set up as a circuit involving primary care centres, pharmacies and programme beneficiaries. With the collaboration of more than 164 primary care centres and 440 pharmacies, Banco Farmacéutico has already demonstrated that it is possible to address the real needs of the most disadvantaged groups through targeted social measures.