Strong demand for first week of 24-7 pharmacy

SA Gov

More than 440 South Australians have either visited the state’s first 24-7 pharmacy or received expert after hours health advice over the phone in its opening week.

A total of 384 people visited the Norwood National Pharmacies store between the hours of 10pm to 8am from last Sunday, 4 February, to Sunday, 11 February.

An additional 65 people called the pharmacy for expert health advice during the extended hours.

It’s the first of three community pharmacies being supported by the Malinauskas Labor Government to extend operating hours around the clock, every day of the year.

The other two – Chemist Warehouse at the Saints Shopping Centre in Salisbury Plain and Chemist Warehouse at Clovelly Park – will begin operating 24/7 in coming weeks.

A total of 242 prescriptions were dispensed by pharmacists for a number of medications, including antibiotics and for relief from pain and migraines.

The store’s pharmacists gave advice over the counter and over the phone for UTIs, children’s pain relief, infant colic treatments, baby formula, COVID tests, cold and flu treatments and antihistamines.

They also gave advice on how to use medications, including a patient with an asthma inhaler and spacer who had recently been discharged from hospital.

Asthma inhalers have been dispensed over the counter, preventing a potential visit to an emergency department. Women and couples used the 24/7 pharmacy the most, followed by seniors and young adults.

The three 24/7 pharmacies were selected through a competitive tender process and are located in northern, southern, and central Adelaide to provide the broadest access.

The State Government has invested $2.5 million a year to fund the initiative which will help to reduce avoidable presentations to busy hospital emergency departments.

Until now, emergency departments and the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre have been the only walk-in health services open around the clock.

A pharmacist will be on staff 24 hours a day at each of the three pharmacies to provide specialist health advice, dispense medicines and provide professional pharmacy services. The three pharmacies will also have added security including on-site security guards overnight.

In another important pharmacy expansion, from next month, South Australian women aged 18-65 with uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) will be able to access antibiotic treatment through participating pharmacies, without needing to visit a doctor.

From May, eligible women will also be able to visit a local pharmacy to access a resupply of their oral contraceptive pill, without needing a doctor’s appointment.

Community pharmacies in South Australia will need to do additional training, that is now available, to offer the UTI services.

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As put by Chris Picton

We have been blown away by the response from South Australians who have accessed late-night pharmacy services.

These are people who may have had to otherwise go to an emergency department to get the medication they required. The service has received positive feedback from those mums, dads, seniors and young adults who have called upon on it so far.

We’re looking forward to this vital service rolling out in the northern suburbs in Salisbury Plain, and in the southern suburbs in Clovelly Park, in coming weeks.

As put by National Pharmacies CEO Vito Borrello

The number of people from across Adelaide coming through our door after hours in the first week of 24/7 trading has highlighted the need for extended pharmacy services.

Our expert pharmacists have been able to assist worried parents, carers, shift-workers and others in the community who previously would have had to seek help elsewhere.

We’ve been delighted by the response to our 24/7 service and look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our community when they need it, day or night.

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