Pharmacies hit hard by frenzied shoppers
PHARMACIES across the Northern Rivers have been hit hard by the panic buying frenzy seen in recent days.
Customers have stockpiled medications which has seen others go without much needed medications and forced pharmacies to adopt measures to ensure everyone has access to vital supplies.
Rebecca Kelly, owner of East Ballina Amcal, said she had never seen anything like the past few days in her career.
"I never expected to have this happen in my career, it's been a little surreal I think, we've read about pandemics and what's happened in the past … but I don't reckon I ever expected we'd be facing something like this," she said.
Recently, the NSW government introduced new regulations to allow pharmacies to trade 24/7 to help deal with the increased customer demand.
Ms Kelly said it was important that customers stick to the new limitations applied in store for their own safety and for the safety of store employees.
"We have guidelines in which we have to and want to practice in, when we say you can't have two or three months of medication, we're not just making it up that's the legislation now, it's so everybody can have access to medicine when they need it," Ms Kelly said.
"The big thing people need to understand is that we are on the essential business list and always will be, we will never close.
"I think when people start worrying about total lockdowns, they think they won't be able to get access to the medication, but we will be there, we will still be dispensing."
The recent isolation measures have seen pharmacies forced to adapt and, like East Ballina Amcal, many are now offering home delivery options to ensure people don't go without medication.
"We've increased our delivery schedule so that anyone who doesn't want to come into the pharmacy or anyone that feels isolated or be in quarantine, we can do no contact deliveries."