Pharmacies stress over emergency procedures


Published: 2020-03-23 10:25

Last Updated: 2020-03-23 11:23


Pharmacies have been notified by the Jordan Pharmacists Association (JPA) that they need to submit the names of up to three pharmacists per outlet to be issued a permit allowing them to open pharmacies for business, according to several pharmacy owners contacted by Roya. The notification arrived at 11:00 pm last night with a deadline for submission set for 10 am this morning.

“We have submitted the details of the three pharmacists per outlet on deadline,” said Amjad Aryan, the President of Pharmacy One, the largest chain with 103 outlets in Jordan.

“The problem is that the number of allowed pharmacists per outlet is not enough. To ensure a professional and safe service, products will be delivered to homes by a pharmacist. How will two pharmacists at each outlet manage the store and make ready the orders?”

Whereas the delivery of pharmaceuticals had been banned in Jordan, the Ministry of health allowed it on March 17, as a response to the COVID-19 crisis and under the Defense Law that allows the government to issue emergency orders that surpass other laws.

“This move seems to settle the question of whether they will allow the public to visit and shop or whether the needs will be met through delivery,” a pharmacist who asked not to be named told Roya, adding that “delivery of pharmaceuticals is a very complicated process for small pharmacies like mine. We do not have enough employees nor delivery mechanisms. If we were to use a delivery service, how do we see the prescription before we sell the product and how do we ensure that the medicines ordered are what patients should take?”

Several pharmacists contacted by Roya have asked not to be named due to past notifications by the Syndicate asking pharmacists not to make public statements especially at times of emergency.

However they communicated their confusion regarding the sudden decision and worry that they may not be able to open for business if delivery is the only means allowed. “We have only one pharmacist on board willing to work under the circumstances. I have no idea how I will be able to open and function properly,” said another pharmacist.

In a video published on the Syndicate’s Facebook page, the President of the Jordan Pharmacists Association Dr. Zaid Kilani declared that “either all pharmacies open or all pharmacies close.”

“This measure is not about profit making but about serving the public in a time of emergency,” stated Aryan when asked about the ability of all pharmacies to open and provide a delivery service. “This is why, our chain has declared that twenty percent of its sales shall be contributed as follows: 10% will be donated to the Syndicate to help pharmacies that have suffered economically and 10% will be donated to the Ministry of Health to assist it in fighting the pandemic,” adding that “No one should be making profit during this crisis.”

Also read: Health Ministry plans to home deliver medicine

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