Adrienne Philson, the operations manager of Pharmalink, told the Post “this pharmacy was established in 2008, with the opening of our first branch at Naga Clinic”.
“We now have two more new branches in Phnom Penh; one in BKKI and another new branch inside the Thai Huot Supermarket in Toul Kork.
“Our Pharmalink brand is the only Western standard pharmacy open 24/7 in Phnom Penh,” Adrienne added.
“Pharmalink was founded with the goal of increasing the standards for pharmacies in Cambodia by working closely with doctors, prescribers, providing reliable, certified medicine, carefully controlling the stock for expired or damaged products.
“And offering quality advice and counseling about side effects, drug interactions, etc.”
She said Pharmalink also provides consultation and supplies medicine and customised first-aid solutions for companies, international schools, NGOs, clinics and hospitals.
To make people more aware, Pharmalink always uses medicine that comes with instruction from a doctor. Adrienne said that “it begins with education”.
“There needs to be better general education in the Cambodian curriculum regarding medicine, health, disease and proper standards for health care.”
She explained that this must be an ongoing conversation among friends and family. People need to demand to know what they are being prescribed and what their medicine is treating.
No one should ever accept packets of unlabeled medicine without asking to inspect the packaging first and making sure the batch number and expiry dates match the box and the bottle/blister packs.
“I think a key to improving the medical system in Cambodia is that doctors and pharmacies need to work together and form partnerships,” she said.
Now there seems to be a disconnect in the medical process, she added. Many patients avoid doctors based on the expense and go straight to pharmacies.
However, this can be dangerous as pharmacies do not know people’s medical histories or have the ability to conduct testing. Also, many of the staff at traditional Khmer pharmacies are not certified pharmacists and therefore have limited knowledge of drug interactions and side effects.
Patients should not go to pharmacies for a diagnosis and pharmacies need to encourage patients to see doctors for testing and more accurate evaluations.
Adrienne graduated from the University of Toronto with an honors and a bachelor of science in Molecular Biology and Neuroscience. She also spent time researching host-immune response to severe malarial infections with a specific project focusing on interventions to improve birth outcomes in pregnant mothers with placental malaria.