Aggressive behaviour in pharmacies not tolerated

Media Release

19 March 2020

At this time of high demand and anxiety around all Australian community pharmacies, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has urged the general public to respect the right of pharmacy staff to safety and courtesy.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, says he is very disturbed to hear reports from many pharmacy owners and staff of hostile, aggressive and in some cases violent behaviour because of low stock or limits on sales in many pharmacies.

“We are calling on people to please show respect in their dealings with pharmacy staff, who are doing their best to cope in a confronting and at times frightening situation.

“Pharmacists go out of our way to help patients source medicines that may be in short supply at this time if they are needed urgently. But they will not and should not be expected to endure aggression and threatening abuse from a tiny minority of Australians who are engaging in this behaviour,” Mr Tambassis says.

“This behaviour will not be tolerated, and the Prime Minister was right to call out this kind of abuse as un-Australian. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and other patients is paramount. If people behave badly in our pharmacies they will not be served and if necessary we will call on security personnel or the police to have them removed.

“Like all Australians, pharmacists and their staff are also dealing with the personal stress and concerns about the COVID-19 crisis. Through all this, pharmacists as a profession and our caring staff are exhibiting the professionalism and courage that is needed to help us and our communities get through this crisis,” Mr Tambassis says.

Source: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia