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The fax machine is broken, please go to another pharmacy


Disclaimer: I’m going to vent.


Pharmacists are incredibly undervalued and under-utilised. Part of this comes from us not being empowered enough to make independent decisions.


I had a prescription from work this weekend. I chose to have this sent to a supermarket pharmacy for convenience. I got to the pharmacy and I was told the fax machine was broken and that I should go to a different pharmacy.


We clearly need to do some work on our prescription process.


The pharmacist I spoke to…


  • Didn’t check what the medicine was for.
  • Didn’t check the consequences to my welfare if I didn’t take this medicine.
  • Didn’t provide any other solutions apart from ‘go to a pharmacy with a fax machine’.


Where was his duty of care?


I was incredibly disappointed. My sister, who is a general practitioner, was with me and was also shocked at the way I was dealt with.


In my opinion, this is not the way for us to exercise professional authority, we should instead be lobbying to revise rules that are no longer fit for purpose.


As an inspector, I never checked if a prescription had been received after 72 hours. So why are we obstructing patients care in this way?


I’d love to hear other thoughts and opinions on this – especially from international colleagues.


Nabila Chaudhri MRPharmS is Associate Director of Pharmacy at Babylon Health & Independent prescriber & Ex-GPHC Inspector but on this occasion is writing in a personal capacity. 



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