Pharmacy Staff

Just a thought. We might all like to have a little sympathy for pharmicians and their staff at the moment. I had to go and collect my meds today and walked into a melee of people wanting vaccinations / appointments for vaccinations for Covid and/or La Grippe as well as the usual after-school families wanting nit lotion etc and regulars after their usual drugs. I’ve never seen the place so busy, six till points manned, one pharmacist ‘walking the floor’ to do quick fixes and another doing jabs. But no-one was rushed, everyone was attended to properly and we all waited in line, the regulation 1.5m apart. Apparently they had been really busy all day, partly, I’m sure, because of the change in regs about Covid jabs which seems to have caught people on the hop.
Those wanting appointments now have to phone after next Tuesday- the phone system crashed this morning due to the number of calls. Amidst it all I didn’t hear any of the staff grumble about the short notice they had had, and how the burden of booster jabs is being placed on them, rather than vaccination centres- we have just two half days in the next fortnight for mass immunisation, compared to weeks of appointments and mobilisation of the Garde Civile to help with crowds when we were all jabbed first time round in the Salle Municipale. The pharmacies really seem to have drawn the short straw.
One high point in the day; I found (after 5 years) someone with less French than me! (Or rather, I was able to help a fellow Brit make herself understood…)
Don’t know how that happened.
Be safe this weekend


Went to mine this afternoon, helped them put the Xmas decorations up…they were soooooo busy😂

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We have a friend who is a pharmacist……he lives in a Château, drives a flash car, and has just spent €€€ on renovations including wallpaper at something like €100/metre sq.

Don’t feel too sorry for them, it’s a good business.


When IT meets pharmacy: Send us a fax of that scan so we can email it back, OK? • The Register


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I can report on a typical day in the life of a pharmacist here in the UK. Arrive at work to find
half the staff are missing. Most staff on a smidgeon over the minimum wage and unlike in some countries minimal qualifications required. Pharmacists pay dropping over many years.
Typical pay £17-24 per hour for locum and no pay for training and considerable time spent on continuing professional development. Drug addicts shouting because they are having to wait to have their methadone supervised. People complaining surgery has sent prescription - why isn’t it ready. People in pharmacy and on the phone asking for pharmacist’s advice when anyone else could advise on 90% questions. Pharmacist trying to catch up on yesterday’s work - maybe hopeless locum was on duty or maybe just pure volume. Requests for more and more services and pressure to hit the stats - ‘new medicine reviews’, flu vaccinations etc. People moaning and sometimes shouting because they are having to wait for their meds to be checked - they think it’s a sweetshop! People trying to come in without masks. Calls about wrong medicine being delivered. Typical day - juggling all the above and more. Government continues cutting payments to pharmacies who in turn ask for more work from fewer staff and cut pay or hours. In France gov wants to open up pharmacy services to chains and supermarkets. Unlike here it seems pharmacists have the power to resist and they are fighting.

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Even a good business can be disagreeable in some way on a day to day basis. As it takes Bac + 6-10 to be a pharmacien I’d expect it to be worth it :grin:


Looking at MichaelL’s post a quick update, there were 4 pharmicians serving yesterday, also checking the work of 2 assistants, another doing jabs and one on the shop floor checking the queue to try and speed things up. By contrast, is one pharmacist per shop the norm for UK? And is it true that France has twice as many pharmacies as UK? Given the load he has on his plate at the moment I imagine Macron has given up on trying to get pharmacies into supermarkets!

It was certainly the case in our local Boots when I last was there a couple of years ago. Perhaps the really big pharmacies have more than one?

No relation of Carrie Johnson?

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As far as I can see yes, and often a locum.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t French pharmacies do a lot more than those in the UK? Everything from identifying mushrooms to performing a local diagnostics laboratory function.


Actually, I think doctors do more than in the UK too. My cardiologist here does his own ultrasounds and my pulmonologist does his own lung function tests. It certainly streamlines my checkups.

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In UK only one, it’s required by law I think anytime the pharmacy is selling or dispensing anything restricted (and quite a lot of stuff that’s on open sale is restricted).

Other staff in UK usually the cheapest they can get and definitely not qualified esp medium or large Boots etc. A good neighbourhood chemist wity longstanding experienced shop staff in the UK is worth their weight in gold.

I loathe my lung function test.

My wife confirms the norm is one pharmacist. She was shocked when she came to work in the UK. In Poland, shop staff are educated to equivalent of A level. She was also surprised that the pharmacies weren’t regularly cleaned in UK. In Poland they are cleaned at least twice a day and all staff wear a uniform.

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Idiot Johnson has just announced new rules on trying to manage the new covid variant.
I’m surprised to hear he appears to be doing the right things at the right time. Masks are back BUT no working from home ruling nor requirements for attending mass events.

I’m not exactly delighted myself but the asthma I had as kid (courtesy of London smog) seems to have returned. I’m just happy the care I recieve here to prevent things getting out of control is so good. If I was dependent on the overworked, underfunded and unappreciated (by Tory bastards) NHS heaven knows how long I’d last.

As an aside, isn’t interesting that the bastard that, arguably, damaged the NHS more than anyone else in living memory, J. Hunt, is now a champion of public health.

Pharmacy staff - not The Pharmacien(ne) - have to have Bac +2 minimum.

I prefer it to the colonoscopy…, but I’m not subject to claustrophobia so doesn’t bother me being shut in a small box.