Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


Belfast pharmacy stops needle exchange service following protests

A community pharmacy in Belfast has decided to halt its provision of a needle and syringe exchange scheme (NSES) following protests against the service outside its premises.

The service has been in place for more than 23 years but in the last three years it became clear that many local residents were not happy that there was an NSES service in the area, with some protesting against it outside the pharmacy, an anonymous source told C+D last week (July 15).

Following “significant pressure” on the pharmacy to withdraw from providing the NSES, McGregor Chemist decided that it was the best interest of its staff and the safety of the pharmacy to stop the service from its branch on Botanic Avenue in Belfast.

The “pharmacy has been an integral part of the NSES for more than 23 years and has provided a highly valuable health service to the local community, which we sincerely thank them for”, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) said in a statement.

McGregor Chemist will continue to offer the NSES until the end of August and PHA and HSCB will work with the pharmacy and service users to phase it out.

“Transfer arrangements to ensure access of service users to alternative NSES services will be carried out in a managed and safe manner,” the health commissioners added.

NSES patients are likely to be redirected to other community pharmacies offering the service or to a community-based service provider, PHA and HSCB said.

“The NSES is vital to the health and wellbeing of the entire community and helps to reduce the potential of drug-related litter and lowers the risk of HIV and hepatitis B and C within the wider population,” they added.

“The service also puts clients in direct contact with a health professional who can help them engage with treatment services to address their drug misuse,” the commissioners added.

The PHA currently funds the NSES in 21 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland.

What do you make of this episode?

Related Content

Pharmacist Managers - Recruiting Now !
East London, Essex and Luton
£40,000 - £50,000 per year

Apply Now



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts