Pharmacists warn against stockpiling medicine, prescriptions

Pharmacists warn against stockpiling medicine, prescriptions
Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 19:52:57-04

BOISE — If you’re looking for hand sanitizer or wipes, you'll probably find empty shelves. Now, pharmacies are warning people not to do the same type of hoarding with prescriptions.

“We definitely don’t want prescription medications to end up being like toilet paper," said pharmacy district manager for Albertsons Pharmacy Michael McDevitt.

Pharmacists are making sure medications don't disappear from behind the counter.

“The CDC is not recommending anyone to hoard or stockpile medications, essentially by stockpiling medications we would worry about it contributing to medication waste if they didn't need it, or they’re inadvertently putting others at risk that can't get the medications," said McDevitt.

Symptoms for COVID-19 also somewhat align with symptoms for the more common sicknesses, which lead to flu and cold relief drugs flying off the shelves.

“There have been some shortages, but from what I was told, that was just from this last weekend and everyone essentially stockpiling, but we continue to get in supplies on a daily basis," said McDevitt.

Pharmacists have measures in place to make sure other drugs that require prescriptions, like insulin and medications for asthma, don’t go out of stock.

“We use our professional discretion to try to talk to the patients to find out if they are trying to stockpile medications because it is a risk, our biggest concern is that we’re not taking away from someone else," said McDevitt.

McDevitt tells me the general public should not be stocking up on face masks. He says they’re not recommended by the CDC and should be saved for those who need them, like doctors and nurses, or those displaying symptoms. He also says if you’re experiencing symptoms, get checked out and send someone else to pick up your prescription.

"As a pharmacist I want everyone to know our healthcare professionals are on the front lines," said McDevitt,

"pharmacists, technicians, and our cashiers, I mean those are the real heroes, we’re putting them at risk daily, and they don’t have masks to wear or anything."