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17.03.20

Pharmacy leaders appeal to help them maintain vital supplies

UK pharmacy leaders have issued a collective open letter to the public, asking them to act in the interests of the whole community in order to help pharmacies maintain vital services including medicines supply in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In the appeal to customers, the leaders highlight the work being undertaken by pharmacies across the UK to provide their regular services, including the safe supply of medicines, while also meeting significantly increased demand for advice on coronavirus prevention.

Asking patients, customers and the wider public to follow a number of guidelines, pharmacy leaders hope to minimise the disruption to vital pharmacy services during the outbreak. The guidelines include:

  • Act responsibly by not entering a pharmacy if you have symptoms of infection, such as a cough or fever.
  • Please ask friends or family who are symptom-free to collect essential medicines for you.
  • Only buy the medicines and supplies that you need right now to treat you and your family.
  • Follow any instructions from our pharmacists and pharmacy teams.
  • Treat our pharmacy teams in the way that you would wish to be treated yourself.
  • Keep up to date with the latest online advice from the NHS.

Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the National Pharmacy Association, said: “Pharmacies provide important services and absorb pressure that would otherwise fall on other parts of the health care system.  We are asking the public to help us to continue to do our vital work on the NHS frontline.  If we act together in our communities, we can all do our bit to limit the impact that this virus has on the nation’s health.”

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the Company Chemists Association, which represents large community pharmacy operators, added: “We understand that people want to feel prepared given the uncertainty that coronavirus is creating. However, it’s important that everyone plays their part in reducing the spread of this virus and helping us to maintain the supply of medicines for all.”

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