A local pharmacist is advising the community to fill their prescriptions with their needed amount and no more.
Sprucewood pharmacist Scott Malek says his pharmacy isn’t seeing an unusual demand and is mostly taking care of their regular customers.
However, he does warn residents looking to refill their prescriptions too early or asking for a large amount of medication could cause problems.
“If we have people coming in and requesting unusual amounts it depletes the system very quickly. It’s important from a community perspective that people maintain their fill status and refill medication on time and if everybody does that then there should be adequate stock to go around.”
He says wholesalers and manufacturers are confident in meeting the needs of pharmacies as long as people aren’t trying to stockpile medication.
Another problem is insurance doesn’t allow for medication to be refilled early which will cause payment issues. Malek says it isn’t an issue specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and is more a universal issue.
Malek says drug shortages aren’t uncommon and should certain medications become unavailable or restricted, pharmacists and physicians will find a proper replacement to ensure the health of patients.
“We are well practiced in if we can’t get the specific thing required to fill the medication we have the means and practice to get a suitable substitute,” he says. “At the end of the day, we are going to find a way to keep everybody healthy.”
Malek reminds residents not to overreact and continue following directions put out by provincial health authorities.
“The guidelines being put out in terms of self-isolation in the presence of symptoms and social distancing are very important in maintaining a degree of health in our population so that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system.”
Some local pharmacies such as the Lloydminster and District Co-op are also providing delivery services for residents unable to get their prescriptions on their own.