“Cannabis-derived medicines are about to revolutionise treatment, but not as much as they’re going to transform the face of pharmacy. These standardised and regulated extracts of cannabinols couldn’t have come a moment too soon.” This may sound like a statement from the Department of Health or the Families 4 Access campaign group, but it could have as easily been spoken by beleaguered pharmacy teams nationwide.
For years, the situation in community pharmacy has been increasingly desperate. Counter staff face patients angry about being refused gluten-free foods and hayfever treatments on prescription, dispensing staff have to cope with workloads not previously seen outside Soviet labour camps, and pharmacy owners spend sleepless nights despairing about the financial crisis.
For many, the only solace they could find was in destructive behaviours that included excessive caffeine intake and binging on CPD, while many newly qualified pharmacists took to gambling with becoming a contractor. But finally the government answered the sector’s pleas to address this intolerable situation and legislated to deliver safe and effective pharmaceutical relief to the people who needed it most. Finally, we can order dispensary dope to make a pharmacist fatty.
Shortly after last week’s announcement that cannabis is to be permitted medical status, supplies began arriving in pharmacies. “The first time I realised relief was at hand was when our wholesaler delivery arrived,” said one pharmacist. “Instead of barging through the door cursing about traffic and how he was delayed at the warehouse, the driver was all laid back and mellow. Eventually he explained that they’d all been issued with samples of the new herbal medicine and now his job was just a joy. ‘I’m a proper drug delivery man,’ he told me.”
Reports then came in from other pharmacies about the improved working environment, with deliveries of ‘EPS dispensing tokes’, and staff having a ‘wacky bickie’ with their coffee. Soon medicines use reviews became a joy – “I don’t know about any drug interactions Mrs Collins, but the colour of these capsules is just far out..!”
Visits by pharmacy inspectors are no longer something to be feared, as “show me, tell me” has become “share my GPhWeed and tell me.” Emergency supplies are also a thing of the past, now there’s no more emergencies, thanks to the advent of Om Nom Numsas.
As the summer heat continued over the weekend, pharmacies had to grow their own cannabis, with each chain offering their own strain of skunk. Top sellers included Boots Bong, Lloyds Leaf, and Well Mellow, while the popularity of Rowlands Rollups was tempered by the fact they no longer came with free delivery. Across the country, Public Health campaigns in pharmacy became: “You don’t need meth and you don’t need speed ‘cos everything is better with a bag of weed!”
We’ll leave the last words to contractor Mary Jane. “Who cares that work’s still excessive and there’s no money to pay the bills – it’s not a problem. Satisfaction in pharmacy has never been higher. But then, the staff have never been higher...”
A long-running C+D contributor, the identity of Xrayser remains a mystery, but his irreverent views are known by all. Tweet him @Xrayser