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Matthews Supports Community Pharmacists

Pharmacists are at the heart of the wellbeing of our towns and villages in Wicklow and should be supported in their work, says Green Party TD Steven Matthews. Deputy Matthews hosted a briefing in Leinster House this week for the Irish Pharmacy Union to hear directly from pharmacists about the issues that impact them on a daily basis. He will now discuss the issues arising with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and ask that several areas of concern are prioritised.

Deputy Matthews said, “Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals that operate right in the centre of our communities. One of the main topics for discussion was the expanding role of the pharmacist and how most people believe they should be able to prescribe for minor ailments without visiting a doctor, thereby relieving the pressure on GP services. They could also potentially prescribe repeat prescriptions where a GP has made the initial prescription. I know from talking to my constituents around Wicklow, that a move such as this would be welcomed wholeheartedly.

“Among the other issues raised that pharmacists here in Co. Wicklow and beyond would like looked are :

· The development of a national strategy for pharmaceutical care including the appointment of a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer

· The proactive management of medicine shortages including greater engagement with the sector

· Review and increase the state dispensing fee to reflect the realities of increased running costs

“Community pharmacists occupy a position of trust in their communities. Every day in Wicklow people are turning to their pharmacists for advice, in fact it is estimated that almost half the adult population now visit a pharmacy over a typical week.

“I fully support their aims and believe these issues must be looked at as a matter of priority, not only to improve the level of healthcare available in our communities but to reflect the challenges experienced by pharmacists in providing this vital local service”, concluded Deputy Matthews.


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