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Rant about French pharmacies

(46 Posts)
Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 11:25:55

I live in France where pharmacies are on strike today protesting the government's plans to allow non-pharmacies to stock non-prescription items. They will be closed as standard tomorrow and Monday so the earliest I can get to one will be Tuesday morning.

France has a system of pharmacies de garde, one pharmacy in the larger area is open during normal working hours on non-working days, and pharmacy de urgence, one pharmacy in the larger area is open during non-working hours for emergencies. Because today is a strike which continues until Tuesday what should be the local pharmacy the garde will only respond to emergencies.

I woke up with a cold sore and have run out of compeed patches, hardly an emergency but I have a newborn. I can easily avoid kissing him during the day but we co-sleep at night and I can't guarantee not touching him with my lips accidentally at night. The herpes virus can be lethal to children under 2.

AIBU to ask the pharmacy to agree to sell me the compeed? The closest open pharmacy put the phone down on me while I was, very politely, trying to explain the situation, the second refused to accept it was an emergency and luckily the third one, more than an hour away, has agreed to sell me the bloody things.

Ironically had non-prescription items been available in non-pharmacies I could have just bought the patches in any of my town's many stores.

PeachyParisian Sat 01-Nov-14 11:54:01

It's frustrating but it isn't actually an emergency. Stock up and purchase in bulk if you can.

riverboat1 Sat 01-Nov-14 12:26:43

YANBU, I live in France too. There seem to me to be a ridiculous number of pharmacies here, they are everywhere. Yet often when I actually need something, eg in the evening or on Sunday it is impossible to get it as pharmacies all closed and nothing available in the type of shops (supermarkets, corner shops) that ARE open at those times.

Good luck with getting what you need.

SenatusPopulusqueRomanorum Sat 01-Nov-14 12:39:51

The pharmacists' monopoly on non-prescription items is ridiculous.

EmilyAlice Sat 01-Nov-14 12:42:50

Are they on strike? Seems unusual on a bank holiday?

Fenouille Sat 01-Nov-14 12:43:05

YANBU exactly what riverboat said angry I suspect you won't get much sympathy here because looking on it from a British pov it's difficult to imagine that it's not possible to get this kind of stuff (or calpol or whatever non-emergency but necessary at short notice medicine you might need and of course everyone here is perfect and is always stocked up because they can buy it from any bloody shop they're going past) anywhere else but the pharmacy. Glad you could get the patches.

Fenouille Sat 01-Nov-14 12:44:04

My rant makes no sense blushhmm

Gruntfuttock Sat 01-Nov-14 13:18:25

OP, can't you put a plaster on the cold sore until you can get the patches? That will surely protect your baby.

Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 13:26:32

I thought that on a bank holiday there should be a pharmacy de garde but the second guy said something about it being a strike so only urgences. I've had this problem before though with garde operating as urgence.

I have low tolerance today as I have just spent three weeks trying to convince someone to give me a carne de sante. Everything is so difficult here!

LadybirdsEverywhere Sat 01-Nov-14 13:38:02

Have you read Stephen Clarke's "Talk to the Snail"? He gives very good advice about dealing with French people in positions of authority, i.e. They have something you want.

When I want something in France that is slightly beyond a standard request, I always start by saying that I know I'm being difficult and it's very unlikely they'll be able to help but...

The French person in authority's natural instinct is to prove you wrong, so they then try to help you.

Always apologise for deranging them too.

France is hilarious, I love it.

EmilyAlice Sat 01-Nov-14 13:45:12

I haven't heard anything about a strike and the only references I can find on line are to one on 30th September. I just don't think they would strike if they were closed anyway?
I didn't need to go to the pharmacie today, but everything was shut apart from the supermarket and the food shops.
Hope you find what you need. Too many bank holidays imo!

tywysogesgymraeg Sat 01-Nov-14 13:48:20

Can you just not touch the baby? It can't be that difficult!

Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 13:54:11

lady i have to look at that book! sounds perfect!

Emily I have no idea what they are doing round here or why!

tywyso I co-sleep and bf lying down so I can't guarantee that in my sleep exhausted state I wouldn't accidentally touch him.

EmilyAlice Sat 01-Nov-14 14:00:15

Totally agree about everything being difficult. We are through it now but a few years ago we had dreadful battles with l'administration over our small business. Must be very hard when you have a small baby as well.

steff13 Sat 01-Nov-14 14:07:05

So, in France you can't buy Tylenol or Benadryl or anything like that anywhere other than a pharmacy? You're not being unreasonable, that's kind of weird. Are there any 24-hour pharmacies around?

EmilyAlice Sat 01-Nov-14 14:15:54

No you can only buy stuff in a pharmacie. There should be an emergency one open, but not 24 hours round here. You can buy plasters and stuff in the supermarket, but no drugs. I always tell them how you can get your flu jab in the supermarket in the UK and they are amazed. The pharmacists are normally very nice and helpful though. They are shut Sundays and Monday morning round here and today because it is All Saints (I think). Everyone takes chrysanthemums to the cemetery (or maybe that was yesterday?). The children go back after two weeks off on Monday and then there is another bank holiday on the 11th.

NeedABumChangeNotANameChange Sat 01-Nov-14 14:30:03

Just put a normal plaster on it at night?

Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 14:32:37

needabum I found compeed but the plaster is a really good idea thanks.

stef13 round here (rural south) they are closed From Saturday afternoon to Tuesday morning. It's a hassle.

Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 14:36:37

Last time I needed non prescription medicines for sinusitis while pregnant and they wouldn't open. So I had to have an emergency appointment with the GP to write a prescription for the non-prescription stuff and then the pharmacy agreed to give them to me. Massive waste of time and money for everyone.

Gruntfuttock Sat 01-Nov-14 15:38:03

"needabum I found compeed but the plaster is a really good idea thanks."

shock Well of all the bloody cheek! I suggested a plaster at 13:18:25!

I'm now going to have a teensy tantrumette followed by a gert big sulk and it's all your fault.

Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 16:49:52

Oooh sorry Gruntfuttock!!! My fault entirely! My excuse is newborn sleep deprivation...and if you don't forgive me I shall burst into tears because my hormones are completely out of whack!

TattyDevine Sat 01-Nov-14 17:34:14

Oh but Pharmacie sells Phytologie! What's not to like!


Booboostoo Sat 01-Nov-14 18:05:13

A guy next to me once asked for a homeopathic cure for the common cold but nothing too strong!

EmilyAlice Sat 01-Nov-14 18:13:44

Ooh yes and medicaments for heavy legs....

riverboat1 Sat 01-Nov-14 18:30:57

Reading this thread and remembering it's the 1st of November has made me realise why the two 'casse' I went to today (in an attempt to buy a replacement wing mirror for my poor broken car) were unexpectedly and inexplicably closed...

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