MORE than 440 people visited or contacted Norwood National Pharmacies at night in its first week operating 24/7, showing a strong demand for after-hours medication and health advice.
Norwood National Pharmacies is South Australia's first 24/7 pharmacy operating under a new State Govt scheme, with 384 people visiting the pharmacy, located in central Adelaide, between 10pm and 8am from Sun, 04 Feb to Sun, 11 Feb.
A further 65 people called after hours for advice from pharmacists.
More than 240 prescriptions were dispensed to after-hours customers for medications, including antibiotics, for pain relief and migraine medication.
Pharmacists were busy giving advice over-the-counter and over the phone on UTIs, children's pain relief, infant colic treatments, baby formula, COVID tests, cold and flu treatments and antihistamines.
The staff also gave advice on how to use medications, including to one patient with an inhaler and spacer for asthma, who had recently been discharged from the hospital, along with a number of other inhalers for asthma helping to prevent potential visits to an emergency department.
Women and couples used the 24/7 pharmacy the most, followed by seniors and young adults.
National Pharmacies CEO Vito Borrello said the number of people from across Adelaide coming through the door after hours in the first week of 24/7 trading had 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," said Borrello.
"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," he said.
Health and Wellbeing Minister Chris Picton said the govt had been "blown away" by the response from South Australians who have accessed the new late-night pharmacy service.
"These people may have had to otherwise go to an emergency department to get the medication they required," said Picton.
Two more 24/7 pharmacies will soon open to service Adelaide's northern and southern regions.
A community 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 to the scope of practice, from next month, South Australian women aged 18-65 with uncomplicated urinary tract infections will be able to access antibiotic treatment through participating pharmacies, without needing to visit a doctor.
And 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. JG
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