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Do all Pharmacies do this? Aibu?

72 replies

Tilda77 · 15/10/2022 12:17

I've just returned from collecting a prescription from the pharmacy and am wondering if I'm right to be concerned about their way of doing things. It is a very small pharmacy so the 5 customers were all about 1 to 3 metres away from me. First off you're asked for name and date of birth. When they give you the prescription you're then asked for your address. Then you're asked if you are exempt from the prescription charge. I took the prescription exemption paper work with me and she read it and said it out loud for all to hear. Do all pharmacies do this? Am I being's fine people probably don't care? Am I not being unreasonable...this is not ok and they should change the way they do things?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Nsky62 · 15/10/2022 12:21


FlibbertyGiblets · 15/10/2022 12:22

They need to positively id the customer. IDK how to apart from asking for your name/dob/address?

In a larger pharmacy there is usually a counter for just scripts only, so not all the store will hear, a small store well them's the breaks in a tiny space, perhaps try a giant boots on the outskirts of the city next time?

RuthW · 15/10/2022 12:22

No that's not acceptable. Asking name, address and dob is fine. Repeating exemption is not. I'm a dispenser. I change where I got my prescriptions from for the same reason.

thelobsterquadrille · 15/10/2022 12:22

Sounds normal to me 🤷🏻‍♀️

Changingmynameyetagain · 15/10/2022 12:23

Pretty standard in every pharmacy I’ve ever worked in.
You might have 25 patients with the same name or 2 or 3 patients in the same house with the same name so the only way to differentiate is to ask the DOB.
They also have to ask your exemption, how else would they know without asking you?

Oysterbabe · 15/10/2022 12:23

I collected a prescription yesterday and my experience was identical. I think pretty standard.

TwoTowels · 15/10/2022 12:24

It sounds normal to me. I have a card and they always look at and say "medical exemption?" aloud and I say yes.

Needmorelego · 15/10/2022 12:24

The name, date of birth, first line of your address is pretty normal. I suppose if you wanted to remain private you could write it down and pass them the piece of paper. People who physically cannot speak must do this.
The exemption thing - do you not have a card? My husband has a card. Although I frequently collect his stuff and they say "does he pay?" I say "no he's exempt" and either me or the pharmacist ticks the box on the form. They never actually ask to see the card.
However....I doubt anyone else waiting is actually interested in you, your details and whether or not you have an exemption card. 99.9% of people don't care and aren't listening. They are there waiting for their meds and that's all they are interested in.

SheWoreYellow · 15/10/2022 12:25

Don’t you tick a bit to say what the exemption is?

TwoTowels · 15/10/2022 12:27

Changingmynameyetagain · 15/10/2022 12:23

Pretty standard in every pharmacy I’ve ever worked in.
You might have 25 patients with the same name or 2 or 3 patients in the same house with the same name so the only way to differentiate is to ask the DOB.
They also have to ask your exemption, how else would they know without asking you?

This has occured to me more than once: couldn't the pharmacy record on their computer system the fact that I have a medical exemption rather than asking me every single time? It could print out the prescription label with a "F" symbol or something on it to indicate that I don't pay.

Pebblebeach15 · 15/10/2022 12:28

Yup , same at mine . Last time a man waiting for his prescription actually said “ oh , you have the same birthday as my wife “ . I didn’t mind though .

NightmareSlashDelightful · 15/10/2022 12:29

I don't think people care. Everyone who's in a pharmacy is there for something ranging from personal to minorly embarrassing.

So there's a kind of non-verbal social code we all automatically revert to in the pharmacist; you don't listen to anyone else's medication or circumstances details, and no one else listens to yours.

It's not like they're bellowing out 'Mrs Flubberton's here for her itchy hoo-hah cream again, Connie. That's twice this month!' at top volume.

OldEnoughToHaveReadBunty · 15/10/2022 12:30

Our local pharmacy is even better. It's a pharmacy/post office. So not only do you give your full details to the other 3 people waiting for a prescription, you also share them with the 12 people in the (very close) PO queue.

They obviously do need to identify patients thoroughly though, so not sure what else they can do? Maybe an electronic check in screen like many GP surgeries have?

sanityisamyth · 15/10/2022 12:33

Legally they have to check name, address and DOB.

OrangePomander · 15/10/2022 12:35

I’m uneasy with this too, and planning on switching to a postal delivery service for mine.

Changingmynameyetagain · 15/10/2022 12:35

Depends on the system the pharmacy uses. The one we use does, it prints a code next to your name on the label.
But it’s not always infallible, your exemption might expire or change for example.
You can tell with some drugs, if a patient is diabetic they’ll have a medical exemption for example so I usually just confirm it’s still in date.

XPD · 15/10/2022 12:36

Mine only ask for the first line of my address. I'm medically exempt and they know this, so never ask.

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 15/10/2022 12:36

You're lucky they don't ask what meds you're picking up too, ours does and I don't want to share with everyone waiting!!

lanthanum · 15/10/2022 12:37

Fairly normal in small pharmacies, I'm afraid. Ours asks "do you pay for your prescriptions" which is perhaps a better way of putting it. There are lots of reasons why people don't pay for their prescriptions, including having a prescription prepayment certificate, so not paying doesn't necessarily imply being on benefits or anything. If she read out the details, I think it is reasonable to complain about that.

CrushingAndClueless · 15/10/2022 12:38

Sounds pretty normal to me.

SecretVictoria · 15/10/2022 12:41

I have a pre-payment cert and that is on their notes. I would’ve assumed it’s the same for other exemptions 🤷‍♀️

BeanieTeen · 15/10/2022 12:41

It is normal but I agree, it shouldn’t be. Especially now where GDPR is a things, they need to move with a times and figure out another way to proceed with these things - leaving your details on the side for someone to read would be a big no no so sharing everything verbally should be too.

Irridescantshimmmer · 15/10/2022 12:51

Yeah they do!

I just say yeah, box E and think nothing more of it to be honest. It does not concern me because the reasons why are confidential and the same applies to yourself too. I understand its easier for me to see it like this but wether you are exemot from paying presvriptions is of no concern to the other people who were waiting.

Tilda77 · 15/10/2022 12:51

It seems I'm being unreasonable. Is good to know this is standard practice in many pharmacies. I haven't got an exemption card I have a certificate which I showed her and she said out loud what type of exemption I have. Then she ticked the box.

OP posts:
ButyouwereuptoyouroldtricksinChaptersFourFiveandSix · 15/10/2022 12:54

this is usual, as pps have said it’s highly unlikely that anyone else in there is interested in your details, that said, if it bothers you then you could ask to go into the side room I suppose. The only time they have ever made an effort to lower their voice to a whisper when talking to me was to ask if the prescription I was looking for was my contraception. That DID irritate me

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