Irish Pharmacy Union statement on Covid-19 13March20

  • Public reassured that pharmacies remain open and well supplied
  • Pharmacists advise there is no medicine shortages and advise against stockpiling

13 March 13, 2020:  The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has reassured members of the public that pharmacies across the country are remaining open and medicines will continue to be available to treat patients.

There are 1,900 community pharmacies in Ireland, all working at the frontline of the health service in the fight against Covid-19. Pharmacists will continue to perform their vital role as a first point of contact for people with our health care system.

Commenting, IPU Secretary General Darragh O’ Loughlin said, “We remain in close contact with public health officials and have reassured them that pharmacists and pharmacies are available to help and support the health service in any way we can, including the dissemination of information and advice to the public.”

He reiterated the warning that there is absolutely no need for the public to stockpile any medicines. “While pharmacies have experienced an understandable increase in demand in recent days, there are no supply shortages; stockpiling is completely unnecessary and, in fact, could itself trigger drug shortages,” he said.

The Irish Pharmacy Union issued the following important public advice:

  • Do not stockpile any medicine or purchase medication you do not need. One month’s supply of prescription medicines is the maximum quantity allowed by the HSE under the GMS or other Community Drug Scheme.
  • Individuals who require medication on a regular basis should ensure their prescriptions are up to date.
  • Patients or carers are asked, if possible, to phone the pharmacy in advance to request that their prescription be dispensed for a particular time/date so that the pharmacy can have it ready when they come in.
  • Check with elderly family members and neighbours to make sure they have their medicines and, if necessary, help them to contact the pharmacy if they need advice or information.
  • People who have been to an affected place in the last 14 days, or who have had contact with someone with coronavirus, or who are exhibiting fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 should NOT attend at a pharmacy or GP clinic. Instead, they should stay at home and phone their GP or local HSE helpline without delay.