World news wrapup: 30 September 2021

Pharmacist ‘slagged online’ for months and nurse punched over vaccination fury; UK driver shortage hits medicine supply; US pharmacists burning out

Medicine Hat, Alberta: Local pharmacist Greg Bueckert has taken to social media to urge people to stop attacking and harassing himself and his staff for providing vaccination services.

Mr Bueckert, owner of Greg’s Remedy’s Pharmacy, told chatnewstoday that, “I’ve been trashed online, I’ve been attacked personally… I’ve had someone hide behind a false name giving poor ratings to my pharmacy simply because I spoke out and spoke my own opinion”.

“We are trying our best to provide Covid vaccines TO THOSE WHO WANT THEM,” he wrote on the pharmacy’s Facebook page.

“We have had some issues with people taking their anger out on my staff… Our goal is to hep (sic) people, not force people to be vaccinated…

“I have been slagged online for many months for simply providing a service. But my store will continue and will be expanding to provide rapid testing for the non-believers.”

He told chatnewstoday’s Teagan Rasche that he is asking for respect.

“A vaccine is not perfect but it does help significantly,” he said.

“When you have a run of deaths where all of them, 100% are unvaccinated, I think that should be a good enough sign that a vaccine is a good idea.”


UK: Pharmacies still do not have the details from the Government as to how they are expected to manage delays in medicine supply caused by the country’s current delivery driver shortage, reports The Guardian.

The National Pharmacists Association said that deliveries to some stores had already dropped.

“A resilient medicines supply chain is obviously vital to the health of the nation, so it’s important this isn’t allowed to escalate into a widespread problem that impacts patient care,” a spokesperson said.

Pharmacists themselves told The Guardian’s Ben Quinn that orders for medicines had begun to arrive late, or not show up. Those who provide home visit services are being hampered by fuel shortages sparked by the shortage.

“We rely on our cars to get us to those places, and if we can’t use them, then it’s an issue,” said London pharmacist Claude Pereira, who said that even on 5.30am on Sunday he had been unable to access petrol from several petrol stations.

“I’m crossing my fingers that things will calm down in the coming days,” he said.

Pharmacists are concerned that these difficulties could cause another round of panic buying of medicines.

They have also suggested using a serious shortage protocol originally designed to manage supply of certain drugs during Brexit.


Sherbrooke, Quebec: A man reportedly punched a pharmacy nurse in the face several times after she vaccinated his wife, reports CNN.

Last week the man went to the Brunet Pharmacy in Quebec city Sherbrooke, and accosted a nurse, saying she had vaccinated the other woman.

“Right at the beginning, the suspect was very angry, very aggressive, he asked the nurse why she vaccinated his wife without approval, without his consent,” said Sherbrooke police spokesperson Martin Carrier.

“And he punched her right in the face multiple times so the nurse didn’t have the time to defend or explain herself … and she fell to the ground and the suspect left running out of the drugstore.”

The nurse was taken to hospital and the pharmacy suspended vaccinations.

CNN reports that under Canadian law people do not need spousal consent to be vaccinated.

The pharmacy’s parent company, The Jean Coutu Group, said they “fully condemn this act which is unacceptable towards the pharmacy teams who have been providing essential services since the beginning of the pandemic.”


Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Business has reported on the plight of the city’s pharmacists, many of whom are experiencing burnout – and were doing so before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Stephanie Goldberg spoke to Garth Reynolds, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, who said that pharmacists had been quitting the profession, leaving community pharmacy for other settings, or saying they can’t go on much longer.

“When we had the lockdowns, some people just never came back,” he said.

“Some pharmacies have been trying to replenish those openings since then…

“Before the pandemic, we already had a lot of stresses on pharmacies.

“And then we had this massive pandemic where we’ve asked health care providers at all levels to do more than we’ve ever asked—times 10. It does take a toll emotionally.” 

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