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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I received today a circular, in the form of an unaddressed letter delivered by the postman, offering a service to have “your NHS repeat prescriptions delivered for FREE to your door”, and enclosing a form to register with this postal pharmacy, called Pharmacy2U.

Now there is no reason whatever to suspect that this is anything other than a legitimate (and for some, a useful) service. Close reading makes clear that this is a private business, an alternative to using a local pharmacy, and it does not claim to be an ‘official’ part of the NHS.

However, with a less beady eye, I might have mistaken this for an NHS service, or something offered by my local surgery (a number of local surgeries are listed). The leaflet makes use of a shade of blue close to that of the NHS. It carries the logo of the NHS Electronic Prescription Service (which is the means by which GPs send repeat prescriptions direct to pharmacies).

Of course, many people will find it very convenient to have their medicines delivered to their door (Amazon has shown that!). But just as Amazon and its ilk have cut a swathe through our High Streets, it is important to remember that services such as these are direct competitors with our local pharmacies, and with much lower overheads and economies of scale, are a serious threat to the survival of our local services. The payments our local pharmacies receive from the NHS for dispensing our medicines will instead go to these anonymous corporations.

There are real benefits to having knowledgeable professional pharmacists right there on our High Streets. But if you want them to be there when you need them, think carefully before moving your custom away from them.

(Disclaimer: I have no interest in or connection with any pharmacy other than as a customer.)

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Agreed!!! Use them or ..... More kebab shops.

Similar-style adverts seen in tube trains for 'online GP' services, again with NHS-style-and-colour branding. Same provisos as above apply, though it can be argued that some GP services locally are struggling with demand vs. funding so a safety valve may be of some use.

The great advantage of using a physical pharmacy is the face to face advice you get when you pick up new medication.  I use Parade on Grand Parade and they are always careful to talk you through what you’re taking home, how to use it and so on.

...wouldn't dare 'Parade Chemist' is brill !!

My regular for 10+ yrs is the same. I'm on repeat prescriptions so I'm in monthly!

Agree totally with Sean Boyle, and with the ease of confusion over those NHS/Pharmacy look-alikes.

I also totally agree with the comments in favour of Parade Chemist. I've found it excellent for nearly twenty years, both with Raj and his assistants and with the new pharmacist and assistants.  

As somebody who has succumbed to Amazon's convenience while bemoaning the disappearance of our real local bookshops, I wonder if Parade Chemist has any over-the-counter remedies for my chronic condition, hypocrisy ?

Well it *sounds* as though they would prescribe a horse pill.

Gordon, I'm sure our Parade Pharmacists would be loth to break their hmm Hippocratic oath.

My local pharmacy delivers. I only found this out when I got a text from them to say my GP had prescribed some vitamin D pills and to call them about a convenient time for them to drop them round. 

The only thing is I don't want to continue to get them prescribed as a prescription costs more than buying them OTC! My other prescription drugs are delivered free of charge from the NHS (to my office) so prescription prepayment is not an economic option for me either.

And I work long hours in central London, so there isn't a convenient time to take deliveries.

But the point I'm making is your local pharmacy may deliver - ask them. Mine is Good Health Pharmacy in West Green Road.

I'd usually agree with you but I has such an annoying experience at my local pharmacy in West Green Rd over a crumpled prescription that I told them I would never use them again.  So now I use Boots in Westfield near work to collect my repeat prescription. This was the last straw after lots (10 years) of miserable service or irregular opening hours. I did get the impression that regulars were treated with respect but your average working person was bottom of the pile. Sod that for service, bah humbug.

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