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Motivational pharmacy quotes: Comedy in the time of COVID-19

One respondent said that if pharmacy was the Titanic, "we struck the iceberg five years ago"
One respondent said that if pharmacy was the Titanic, "we struck the iceberg five years ago"

They say that laughter is the best medicine. After a year like 2020, pharmacists have been dispensing it in heavy doses via the C+D Salary Survey

Last year placed an extraordinary amount of pressure upon pharmacy professionals. Many of the 1,667 respondents to the C+D Salary Survey 2020 – which ran from October 19 to December 10 – reported serious concerns, ranging from increased workplace stress to a lack of funding.

Some pharmacy professionals used gallows humour to express their troubles with stirring witticisms.

Some of the most acerbic responses came in a question on whether pharmacists would recommend a career in pharmacy. “Not even to my worst enemy, with possibly the exception of Keith Ridge,” said one respondent about NHS England’s chief pharmaceutical officer.

Another replied to the same question: “Only if they were a sixth former on work experience and I really didn't like their cocky, know-it-all attitude.”

One person wrote that pharmacy using the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) to spot counterfeit medicines was “like using a nuclear bomb to crack a nut”.

When one locum was asked if they had considered buying their own pharmacy in the past year, they responded: “If I did, the men in white coats might come for me.”

Respondents’ views on the wider healthcare sector weren’t immune to gallows humour either. “If we liken community pharmacy to the Titanic, we struck the iceberg about five years ago, and are now seriously tilting,” wrote one.

“NHS England are the worst – unnecessary middle-management who think they are gods,” said another. One respondent asked about staff bonuses said: “The taxman had more of a bonus than I did.”

Some pharmacy professionals were less than complimentary about support from their employers. One simply put: “Hey, this is the pharmacy profession. You are very much on your own.”

Although the dark comedy is rooted in genuine problems in pharmacy, like disillusionment with the sector, it reflects well on the ability of pharmacy professionals to cope with difficult circumstances. 

The C+D Salary Survey 2020 – the largest UK survey of community pharmacy – ran between October 19 and December 10 and was completed by a total of 1,667 pharmacists and pharmacy staff. C+D's ongoing coverage from the survey can be found on our dedicated hub.

Video photo and music credit: Wikimedia Commons

How many megatons would you use on an almond?

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist



Multiple/Contractor : I've got a great deal on the table, you do more work for me with no extra support and I get to keep all the extra revenue. Oh and I need you sign this petition asking for more funding from the government.                    

Pharmacist : All Sounds great boss. Where do I sign ?



Tony Schofield, Community pharmacist

"Extra revenue "? Where? Do you do nothing to keep yourself informed? There has been no increase in revenue since swingeing cuts 5 years ago and no increase allowed for another 3 years? But you did know that didn't you?

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

That's the drivel used to keep wages low. No one is buying that anymore Because when revenue was rising I don't recall any filtering down to the shop floor or dispensary. Pull the other one Tony....

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