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Local pharmacy works to keep shelves stocked

By: Lisa Tindell

For people with on-going medical conditions, the current pandemic may be more than an inconvenience. Making sure prescriptions are filled and available is just one way that local pharmacists are making the tough times less stressful.
Shannon Thompson, pharmacist with Cottrell’s Family Pharmacy in East Brewton, is working to make sure patients who use their services are taken care of during stressful times.
“We are doing our job and filling prescription as they are needed,” Thompson said. “We are not having any trouble getting prescription medications as we usually do. The only issue we’re having is getting the over-the-counter items that are most needed during this situation.”
Thompson said filling prescriptions early is also a concern for many patients who may feel anxious about getting their medicines.
“We are working to make sure we don’t have any shortages of medications,” Thompson said. “We don’t know what will happen ahead, but we are working to keep needed prescription medications on hand. Some people may be a little worried about the availability of their medications, but right now that isn’t an issue for us. We are working with insurance companies to get the allowed prescriptions filled early in some cases. Some insurance companies are over-riding that because of this situation.”
Thompson said other healthcare providers are having issues getting items such as masks, thermometers, alcohol, hand sanitizer among other items.
“We’ve had calls from the Atmore hospital, Holman Prison and a couple of other places wanting to know if we have those items,” Thompson said. “I wish we did have them. But, we can’t even get them for our own people. There is zero quantity when we check on ordering those items. All of the warehouses we use are completely out of those items.”
Thompson said the pharmacy lobby is closed, but workers are making sure that prescription needs are met for those who use the pharmacy.
“We have closed the front door,” Thompson said. “We are working totally through our drive-through. We are doing that for the safety of our staff and for those who come into the pharmacy. This is a safety precaution. We are following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and will continue to do that for as long as this takes. People are in a panic and it’s certainly a time to take this seriously.”
Many pharmacies in the Brewton area are seeing their supplies of over-the-counter items being depleted including thermometers, hand sanitizer, alcohol and similar products.
“We have no idea when those items might be available again,” Thompson said. “The warehouses are listing a date when those items might be available for us to order, but that is still a concern going forward.”
Patients who have special needs for pharmacy services are encouraged to contact their pharmacists with questions or concerns about the availability and early refill options for their medications. Thompson said the early refill option is not likely to be available for any controlled substances.