While the whole community needs quality community health care, there are a number of sensitive health issues that are extremely important to the LGBTI community – this is something that Thornlands Pharmacy in Brisbane’s Bayside region has known for a long time.
Gay owned and operated for over ten years, the pharmacy has built up a loyal LGBTI customer base who appreciates Thornlands’ welcoming service.
Owner Ritche Andit explained to QNews: “Pharmacy is what we do, and it is extremely important to us that we are accessible to everyone. Our LGBT customers come to use for a wide range of issues, including HIV healthcare and hormone therapy.”
Since 1 July, HIV patients are able to have their HIV medicines dispensed from a community pharmacy. Generally, eligible prescribers may prescribe up to two months’ treatment at recommended doses. Normal PBS co-payments apply.
“Hopefully, this will encourage more doctors on our side of town to undergo HIV prescribing training and provide a less fragmented care for Bayside patients living with HIV”, an optimistic Mr. Andit said, adding that he hopes that this change is just the beginning of a greater involvement of community pharmacists in the field of HIV medicine.
“It’s been three years since the US FDA approved the use of Truvada for PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis against HIV). Once the TGA approve the indication in Australia, our pharmacy will be taking active steps to promote awareness in the community.”
Currently, Truvada is only approved for HIV treatment, not approved for use as PrEP. Doctors in Australia may prescribe it “off label” but the cost is quite prohibitive. The HIV Foundation Queensland, however, currently recommends the option of accessing supply online at a cheaper cost.
Thornlands Pharmacy also provides specialised service to LGBTI patients in areas such as hormone therapy for those in transitions, antibiotics for other STIs, opioid substitution program, sachet packing and, of course, medicines for general health needs.
A private consultation room is available for those seeking to have a discreet chat about matters of personal health and wellness. One may also book for a free extended chat about medicines, particularly for those on multiple medications or recently discharged from hospital.
Thornlands Pharmacy prides itself in providing a personal service and are located inside Thornlands Medical centre with a 7-day doctor surgery and a dental practice. The pharmacy also has a special interest in sleep apnoea, where they provide testing and CPAP treatment.
In addition to providing top class health care, Thornlands Pharmacy is also an active community participant, being one of the businesses who will take out a full page ad in support of marriage equality in the local paper, as well as being involved in local and international projects as a supporter of the Rotary Club of Redlands Bayside, where Mr. Andit is a past president.
Thornlands Pharmacy is open 7 days a week 8:00am-7:00pm Mon to Fri and 8:00am – 1:00pm Weekends at Shop 2, 3 Cleveland-Redland Bay Rd, Thornlands. Free on site parking is available. Visit thornlandspharmacy.com.au for more details.