Karachi pharmacist turns motorcycle into a pharmacy; ‘soda pop chemist’ inspiration in Scotland; NYC pharmacists hailed as ‘heroes’ for frontline COVID vaccination role
Inverkip, Scotland: A pharmacist inspired by “soda pop chemists” popular in in the US a century ago has created an in-pharmacy café so patients can enjoy a beverage while waiting for their scripts.
The idea came to James Semple after he realised customers were using supermarkets to purchase everyday medical items.
“Inverkip has a young thriving population and there is no coffee shop,” he told the Daily Record.
“Soda pop drug stores were popular in the states.
“People would pop in for a cherry coke, read the papers, meet friends and just take a breather. They’d collect their medicines then get on with the rest of their day. It was a simpler time,” said Mr Semple.
“We moved into a unit that used to be a restaurant and inherited the coffee machine so we had the idea of stripping out the entire retail side of the pharmacy – because almost everything is available in the supermarket next door – and using the space, and the outdoor seating area, to create a coffee shop.
“We’re a community pharmacy with lots of benefits and we think it will strengthen our links with the community and especially some of our older clients who may enjoy some company while they’re waiting on prescriptions,” he said.
“We want people to feel relaxed while at the same time knowing we are still providing for their medical needs.
“Pharmacists have been on the frontline during the pandemic and offering many services, this is just another string to our bow.”
Karachi, Pakistan: A woman pharmacist in Karachi is setting a new trend by selling pharmacy supplies on her motorbike and providing free medicines counselling along the way, reports Samaa TV.
Sana has been delivering medicines and surgical supplies to homes – she said riding a motorbike is her passion and she has now turned it into her profession.
She sells face masks, first aid box, glucometres, blood pressure monitors, thermometers and syringes.
In addition to providing free delivery, Sana has also been providing free medicines counselling.
A pharmacist’s job is to inform patients about the drugs that should be administered or not, she said.
She claimed that she had been pressured by former hospital management to concentrate on earning money and not to counsel patients.
New York, New York: Pharmacists in New York City have been hailed as “hometown heroes” for their role on the frontline of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
After the pandemic hit, city pharmacists found themselves on the frontline of the biggest mass-vaccination effort in US history, reports the New York Daily News.
Tiffany Braham-Caldropoli, supervising pharmacist at Boca Pharmacy in the Bronx, said patients turned to her with countless questions.
“A lot of people have come to us with their concerns,” she said.
“I’m able to tell them about my experience getting my vaccine early on. Hopefully, I’m someone they trust and can relate to. They can look at me and say, ‘She got it, and she’s OK’. It puts them in a comfort zone to get the shot with us.
“We went around door-to-door talking to people. At first, some were skeptical,” said Braham-Caldropoli. “I ended up meeting a barber on dialysis. We answered all of his questions, and he ended up getting his shots.”
Joel Weiner, a supervising pharmacist based in Brooklyn, said he proactively talks to all his customers about the COVID vaccine.
“We have lots of people on the fence who just need someone they know with a degree on the wall to encourage them to go and maybe make their appointment for them,” he said.
“I probably get annoying at points, but we lost six people to COVID who were good neighbors and customers,” he said.
He said one customer was hesitant to get vaccinated.
“I stressed to him, ‘This is about the public good. Our vaccines are what make this country so great.’ The following week, he made his appointment,” Weiner said.