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Boots Pharmacy, Barry
Boots Pharmacy has been in the centre of Barry, my home town, forever, or at least as long as I can remember. In fact, my first girlfriend got her first Saturday job there as an assistant on the drugs counter. The experience inspired her to go to university and become a pharmacist.
They were the good old days apparently, because it is a sad, old-looking place now, although I don’t know what opportunities they offer young people these days. I don’t know, but my guess is none.
Anyway, that is not what this article is about.
I have been suffering from a severe case of gout for the last week, and yesterday, a friend – a fellow traveller, suggested a remedy. Today, dosed up on an unsustainable amount of Ibuprofen and codeine, I limped up to the prescription counter in Boots.
‘Hi’, I opened, I’m having a problem with gout. What can you recommend, please?’ She started to look at her computer. ‘I have heard of Napraxis’, I said.
‘No, that is prescription only’.
‘OK, Altar? I used to buy that OTC in Spain…’
‘No, but, I could order something in for you’.
‘OK, yes, please, but I need something now. I’ve been told that Feminax contains the same drug, and relieves gout’.
She looked up from her screen and studied my face. ‘How do you know that?’
‘Research. Can I have a box of Feminax, please?’
‘No, I can only sell that to females between the ages of fifteen and fifty’.
‘OK’, I countered, ‘my wife here wants a box’.
‘No’, she replied, ‘not now that I know what you want it for’.
So, to cut a long story short, I pointed out that Boots’ policy on this matter was prompting me to go to another pharmacy and not be perfectly honest. The woman shrugged apologetically. ‘Well, it’s either that, or I stand outside your shop here and ask a young woman to buy my drugs for me’.
She looked surprised when I said that. It reminded me of teenagers stopping adults outside a corner shop to ask them to buy cigarettes or alcohol for them.
It is a stupid policy that encourages people to lie, and we wonder what is wrong with society? Government and shopping policies are forcing me to either cheat, lie or wait four days to go to the doctor’s.
If I could have bought what I needed, I would be limping around for four days less, AND, the doctor’s time would have been saved for a more important case.
It reminds me of five years ago, when I tried to buy ten boxes of paracetamol from Boots to take abroad with me – a years’ supply – and the assistant refused me.
‘Thirty-two tablets maximum’, the girl had said. ‘Suicide risk’, she had said knowingly, but she also advised that I could buy thirty-two in all the pharmacies and corner shops in town.
And people wonder about why we are where we are?!
As a nation, we have all gone bloody mad!
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All the best,
Podcast: Boots Pharmacy, Barry