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Pharmacies provide new policies to stem coronavirus spread

Pharmacy attendants need to ask questions first before they can allow people to enter the store, according to the Pharmaceutical Society.

Pharmacies, one of the businesses offering essential services that are allowed to remain open during the Level 4 lockdown period in New Zealand, have provided guidelines for the public to follow to avoid the spread of COVID-19. 

Before going to the pharmacy, the public would need to call first for both urgent and non-urgent needs.

“Your pharmacist will be able to discuss your needs or arrange an appointment for you to visit,” the Pharmaceutical Society said. “This is to ensure the safety of all patients and pharmacy staff during this time.”

Pharmacies will also be prioritising urgent prescriptions for same day dispensing. Other non-urgent prescriptions will be processed as discussed with the pharmacist.

According to the Pharmaceutical Society, if a person has an urgent prescription, or is about to run out of medicines, he or she can still get them.

“However, if what you need from the pharmacy is not urgent, please do not visit.”

The pharmacies group reminded the public that pharmacy staff are under enormous pressure right now and that the wait for prescriptions may be much longer than usual.

“If you are unsure about your prescription or other services from your pharmacy, please phone them before visiting.”

It was also mentioned that some pharmacies may be reducing their opening hours to allow pharmacy staff to process the large number of prescriptions they are receiving and others may be offering a delivery service, for a small fee.

“However, this will be at the discretion of individual pharmacies, depending on their available resources.”

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