Covid-19 Coronavirus

Advice on medicines to ensure safe supplies for all

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Measures are being taken to prevent the stockpiling of medicines, both prescription drugs and products sold over-the-counter in retail outlets.

Members of the public should not ask their GP for additional orders of their prescription medicines as doctors will not be able to supply them any earlier than they are due.

This is in keeping with current UK guidance and is to protect all members of the community by making sure there are sufficient stocks of medicines available in the Island for everyone.

The Department of Health and Social Careadvises that each household has a small supply of medicines kept in a secure place for the treatment of minor illness, and it is understandable that families wish to keep a stock of medicines should they become ill or need to self-isolate.

In view of rising demand for analgesics and self-care items, the public are asked not to stockpile over-the-counter medicines as this can create a shortage and mean some people are not able to buy what they need.

The current advice is to use paracetamol for the headaches and fever associated with Covid-19 infections, and local pharmacists can advise on other practical items useful to have to hand.

Many pharmacies are restricting purchases to one pack per patient of paracetamol (tablets and liquid), and the public is asked to respect this decision.

Deliveries of medicines

Government is working with local pharmacies to ensure that those patients who are ill, self-isolating and/or vulnerable can receive medicine deliveries. However, people should not ask for a delivery of their prescription medicines unless there is a genuine need, as it will delay vulnerable patients receiving their medicines.

While individuals and voluntary groups have kindly offered to deliver prescription medicines to members of their community, they should seek advice from the DHSC. Pharmaceutical Adviser first.  

This is because there are a number of restrictions and guidelines to be followed to ensure the safe transit of drugs, and guidance on this will be posted on the Pharmacy pages of the Government website. It’s hoped this will ensure the community spirit shown by wiling volunteers can be harnessed to help vulnerable people stay well and connected during the current crisis. 

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