As I write this, we are on our third day of snow. For us, it has caused considerable upheaval, as most of our wholesalers, including our largest supplier by far have been unable to get to us for two days due to issues on the road, or with their staff getting into work.

We have daily deliveries from Gateshead, Glasgow, Preston, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Leigh, Runcorn, Stoke-On-Trent and Prudhoe, so we were bound to be affected.

I should have realised that the bad weather was coming when during the previous week, the regular driver from Prudhoe was wearing a coat. In all the years I’ve been at Allison’s I’ve never even seen him in long sleeves.

Delivery drivers can be grumps, but I must admit, I was rather pleased to see them when they managed to make it through before we started to run out of run of the mill medicines. However, I was not looking forward to the number of boxes that would be arriving but then again, I’m not the lucky one who unpacks them.

Alan our driver was out delivering in this weather when a patient called at 3.30pm asking where her 3.00pm delivery was. It’s a good job that I’m not the driver as I would be tempted to go in and put BBC News on just in case they weren’t aware of what was going on outside!

Cold Turkey!

Some of you that receive regular medication will have found that your pharmacy has occasionally had difficulty getting items. Also, patients who prefer specific brands will have found that this is becoming harder to achieve due to shortages in the market, or huge price hikes. Some say it is due to Brexit, whilst others suggest it is down to issues with international manufacturers. The one thing that’s clear is that it’s a right pain and it’s here to stay.

This is the main reason why we have so many wholesalers and it protects us from some of these issues. It makes it harder for us on a daily basis, as one big order from a single supplier is much easier to deal with than fifty boxes spread across half a dozen or so deliveries. This is balanced by the knowledge that if it is obtainable then we’ve got as good a chance as anyone of getting it.

However, all of this was put into perspective by the fact that last month KFC couldn’t get hold of chicken and it was causing people to go into meltdown.

‘Which?’ tablets are you taking?

Last month, consumer charity Which? reported on an investigation into over-the-counter sales of Ibuprofen.

The reporter tried to buy two different products containing Ibuprofen and received differing advice from the staff of the pharmacies visited. Some did not alert them that the products shouldn’t be taken together and the associated dangers of doing so. Some did not ask if they were taking other medication and others refused the sale due to the risk of exceeding the recommended dose.

All these scenarios were rated as ‘poor’ and it felt a bit like we were ‘damned if we do and damned if we don’t’. At this point, I’d like to add that I once bought a Which? recommended kettle and it was awful.

Somebody mentioned the fact that you would be asked no such questions if you did the same thing at Poundland. This is often a patient’s defence when they feel like our counter is becoming like an MI5-enhanced interrogation site. Poundland were contacted for a comment on why they were happy to sell three packs of ibuprofen at a time. Their response was genius and stated that they were called Poundland and that if they only sold one pack at a time they would have to change to 33p-land, which wasn’t as catchy.


FREE Prescription Collection and Delivery Available

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31 Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9LE Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm and Saturday: 8.30am - 4.00pm | 01900 822 292 ISSUE 424 | 22 MARCH 2018 | 13

• Cholera (2) • Japanese Encephalitis (2)



Our trained pharmacist can administer your travel vaccines* and antimalarials* including:

£25 • Meningitis ACWY (1)

• Diphtheria Tetanus & Polio (1) £30 • Rabies (3) • Hepatitis A (1) • Hepatitis B (3)

£40 • Tick Borne Encephalitis (3) £30 • Typhoid (1) £85

Generic Malarone (Atovaquone/Proguanil) just £2 per tablet Doxycycline just 20p per capsule.

We also vaccinate against: Meningitis B (from 2 years old) – 2 doses at £100 per dose.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in both boys and girls – number of doses depends on age. £140 per dose. Chickenpox – 2 doses at £60 per dose. MMR – 2 doses at £40 per dose. Shingles – 1 dose at £150.


The County Council is stopping the NHS Health Check service in September. GET YOURS NOW!

Available to eligible patients aged 40-74 and includes cholesterol check. Please get in touch to see if you are eligible and to make an appointment. Eligible patients include those who have NOT been diagnosed with:

• Stroke • Heart Disease (including high blood pressure) • Diabetes

• Kidney Disease And have not had a health check in the last 5 years.

For those not eligible we have a blood pressure and cholesterol check for just £10

£50 £50

£60 £30

The number in brackets is the number of doses needed and the price is per dose Antimalarials

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