Pharmacists under pressure due to COVID-19

Media release: 25 March 2020

Pharmacies are an essential service and therefore will remain open throughout the Level 4 lockdown period.  

However, entering a pharmacy and the services you will receive may look different.  No member of the public will be able to directly enter the pharmacy without answering some questions from the pharmacy team. 

The public are being asked to phone their pharmacy first before they visit, for both urgent and non-urgent needs. Your pharmacist will be able to discuss your needs or arrange an appointment for you to visit. This is to ensure the safety of all patients and pharmacy staff during this time.

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

If you have an urgent prescription, or are about to run out of your medicines, you can still get them.  However, if what you need from the pharmacy is not urgent, please do not visit.  Please understand that pharmacy staff are under enormous pressure right now and that the wait for prescriptions may be much longer than usual.  

Some pharmacies may be reducing their opening hours to allow them to process the large number of prescriptions they are receiving.  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. 

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