OUT OF STOCK: Ahmad Almesfer said children’s Panadol and indigestion tablets had been among stock going in COVID-19 panic.
OUT OF STOCK: Ahmad Almesfer said children’s Panadol and indigestion tablets had been among stock going in COVID-19 panic.

FURTHER WAIT: Shortages leave vulnerable without medication

WARWICK pharmacists have started to enforce stricter medication rationing as panic buying puts an unprecedented strain on resources.

Warwick Friendly Society pharmacist Ahmad Almesfer said the store had begun regulating over the past week and would now only dispense one month’s worth of prescription medicines and limit the purchase of some over-the-counter products to one per person. The restrictions come amid a widespread shortage of Ventolin inhalers.

While supply was set to return to normal within the next week, Mr Almesfer said stock had dried up completely last week due to people over-purchasing the respiratory medication.

“At one point we were unable to order any brands, “ he said.

“We typically give two inhalers at a time, one to have on yourself and one in the car etc. and hence because of the larger quantities given to each person, stock depleted quite rapidly.

“For an asthmatic, I imagine, there was a moment of panic to realise they couldn’t get an inhaler.”

Mr Almesfer said while pharmacists were vigilant to ensure only those with relevant medical history were taking the medication, he expected many were hoarding to protect themselves against coronavirus.

“A lot are cautious and would like multiple Ventolins around them to combat any possible shortness of breath,” he said.

Other medical shortages he had seen included children’s Panadol and indigestion tablets.

The pharmacist urged people to think about their neighbours in this time of need.

“Look at the person next to you, what if they were you and weren’t able to get any, how would you feel?” he said.

“We ‘re lucky enough Australia has access to great healthcare- why bring our status down now?

“Remain vigilant and calm and listen to advice of pharmacists and everything will be fine.”

The move follows advice from deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly last Thursday.



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