Day and Night Pharmacy – Autumn of Discontent


I was on the brink of medication. I badly needed a break. My last article bears testimony to that. I lost it. One of my avid followers said I sounded like one of those grumpy old men. Another asked me what my ‘background’ and qualification really was. To be honest, I had to think… then I mumbled, ‘Medicines, not Medicine… I mean, I’m the medicines man; a sort of medicines guru… and my English teacher, the very strict Mr Hwiridza (one of those who’d pick on the slightest of grammatical slips and would have put a long red line under this sentence), used to like my compositions’.

More questions followed. I felt like that late Sopranos’ guy in one of those sessions with his shrink. It got me thinking. Perhaps I can’t remember my real qualifications and I’ve probably lost track of who I am. Sometimes I’m just mad with the world: Which I shouldn’t be. I’m supposed to concentrate on ensuring that my patients are kept medicated (so they don’t lose it like me). And I’m supposed to offer advice on medicines to patients and medical plus paramedical colleagues for free. That’s my remit- the freebee man.

But I’m too human to keep mum in light of all the injustices perpetrated by my fellow losers. Take for instance the current rampant shortages of essential generic medicines. We are spending more and more time ringing several wholesalers to source medicines instead of spending more time on the counter annoyingly interrogating customers in the nosy chemist and his cheeky assistant’s style,’ Who is the medicine for? What are the symptoms? How long have you had the symptoms for? What have you used so far? Do you take any other medicines for any other conditions?’. (Oops, these standard questions are essential when well delivered in the right environment and they shall be the subject of another article in the future).

How can there be a shortage of aspirin 75mg tablets? This is the most basic of medicines-at that dose it’s widely used to prevent the clotting of blood which could otherwise lead to heart attacks or strokes. It happens to be one of the oldest of medicines produced by a plethora of manufacturers all of whom compete to sell to the NHS so the price is normally well below a pound. But when there is a shortage the prices get hiked-so for the cynical conspiracy theories galore. Could these shortages be some orchestrated syndicate for profiteering amongst stakeholders in the supply chain?

The UK does not have to be like some country I know where shortages are part of the staple diet; power cuts served with erratic water supply and corruption. I came back calm and mentally fresh- seeing mother is better than any medication or shrink- but I felt like my body needed taking into one of those hand car wash places for a good scrub and a jet wash.

Talking family- I delivered medication to a not so well house-bound elderly patient today. She was very happy to see me or shall I say to see another human being in flesh. The richness of this nation is such that (generally) every adult family member has their own home. The folly of that is that four walls day in day out are not good for a lone dweller. How much TV can one watch? A book can pass the time, a phone-call can bring a smile, a visit by a carer is useful but the satisfaction and serenity that is brought by the presence of affectionate family is immeasurable, especially in one’s last days.

Yours medicinally

Abel Kubare

PS: I’ve taken on a Pharmacy graduate student who will be with us for the next 12 months. He completed his 4-year degree at the University of Sunderland .He will now undertake his pre-registration training under the supervision of the real master. Only after this and sitting the final professional exam can he unleashed onto the great British public. His name is Dan.

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One Comment

  1. Great article, what next…winter of discontent?

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