Patients in Scotland urged not to stockpile prescription drugs
Patients are being asked not to stockpile prescription drugs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The trade body that represents hundreds of community pharmacies across Scotland said there is no shortage of medicines.
But people ordering drugs earlier than usual, or additional items, is creating extra workload.
Barry Chapman, a pharmacist at the Omnicare Pharmacy Springwell in Edinburgh, said demand in recent days was "unprecedented".
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Slight delays to routine prescriptions are being experienced in some areas, according to Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), and some pharmacies are closing for short periods to allow for extra cleaning and processing orders.
Mr Chapman said: "We have been extremely busy since the GPs started to restrict access and I know that strain is replicated across the country.
"We are already having staff reporting symptoms and having to isolate, but we're all working as hard as we can."'Strain on service'
Mr Chapman and his staff are now wearing gloves and masks when dealing with patients but he is concerned about the lack of testing for pharmacy staff with coronavirus symptoms.
He added: "Staff isolating without being tested will put a huge strain on our ability to operate the sort of service people need."
Amanda Rae, head of policy and development at CPS, said "Our main message to people is to order what you need, the supply chain is holding up well and there is no need to stockpile.
"We obviously understand the anxiety some patients have but, similar to the situation facing the supermarkets, there is enough to go around if people just order what they usually do and are not tempted to order earlier than usual, or get additional quantities."