COVID-19: are your patients stockpiling?

While there’s no advice to stockpile medicines (or toilet paper), Australians are reportedly doing so… are your patients among them?

Representatives of the Pharmacy Guild and the PSA have warned that stockpiling behaviour could trigger stock shortages among some medicines.

While “The Pharmacy Guild is not aware of any medicine which is currently unavailable or in short supply in Australia specifically because of COVID-19,” according to national president George Tambassis, he warned that “paradoxically, if panic buying does take hold for medicines and other products, shortages may well arise – and we certainly hope this can be avoided”.

One Sydney pharmacy owner told the AJP that pharmacists are now under a lot of pressure as a result, and are “copping the brunt of people’s stress”.

And Guild Victorian Branch President Anthony Tassone appeared on 3AW asking the general public to be patient when pharmacists follow requirements around dispensing more than one pack of medicine at a time.

“If they are requested to dispense multiple repeats or multiple supplies of a medicine, they actually need to get the prescriber’s or the doctor’s permission to do so,” Mr Tassone said.

“So if you do get told by a pharmacist, ‘Look, I need to check with the doctor first,’ that is a legal obligation, they’re not trying to be difficult or not help you in any way.”

AJP would like to know how your patients have reacted to the COVID-19 issue: is it business as usual, or are you dealing with worried patients seeking to stock up? Tell us in our poll below… tick as many answers as apply.

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