In the Altos de Lídice Socialist Commune, located in the La Pastora neighborhood, north of Caracas, a group of women and a Chilean doctor have established a communal pharmacy run by members of the popular organisation itself.
Through self-management, the initiative represents an alternative for patient care and distribution of medicines in the face of the shortage of drugs in Venezuela.
The community pharmacy is nourished by international donations that went to the Doctor Salvador Allende Foundation in Caracas and were ceded to the community organisation. As Dr. Roberto Bermudez, a doctor from the commune, explains: "The way we are able to supply medicines is precisely through international collaboration. Mainly with comrades from Chile, those comrades from Chile who are motorising the collection of medicine”.
Pharmacy users receive medical treatment at no cost, medicines that would otherwise be too expensive or simply unavailable. Patient Arlenci Guitiérrez said: "The medicines used to arrive before, now they are not arriving at all, so if you get them, you get them expensive. Here we are getting them, and at no cost.”
The pharmacy supplies medicines to the population of the Caracas commune made up of some 6,000 inhabitants. It has antibiotics, analgesics, antipyretics, antifungals, anti-inflammatories, anti-allergy, for the treatment of diabetes, medicines for asthmatic and hypertensive patients, among others.