A MAN was left without his heart medication for two full days after a pharmacy’s systems had gone down.

Chris Harris, 76, had taken his monthly trip to Boots Pharmacy in Market Place, Wallingford to pick up his prescription of statins.

Statins is a type of lipid-lowering medication that reduce illness and mortality in those who are at high risk of heart disease.

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However, Mr Harris was told that the pharmacy’s system had ‘gone down’ and that he’d be called when he could come and collect them.

After a couple of days, Mr Harris hadn’t received a call and was worried with his medication running low.

“Boots let me down very badly indeed,” he said. “They told me that their systems had gone down. Fine, these things can happen.

“They promised me that they would ring me up and inform me when I could collect. Reassured, I left. But I received no phone call. Ever.”

Mr Harris said he tried ringing the pharmacy several times but there was no answer.

“I was starting to worry,” he said. “No answer – for hours. Either engaged or just ringing for a pastime. So I wrote to Boots headquarters asking them to help but they ignored the letter.

“I decided to write a courteous note on one of my correspondence cards and put it through pharmacy’s letterbox - this said I was now running low and could they please let me know if the pills had come in or not. This too was ignored.”

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Mr Harris then contacted the GPhC inspectors, a regulator for pharmacies, which has asked the pharmacy to apologise to Mr Harris.

It said: “The Inspector has assessed the risks raised by the information you provided, and contacted the pharmacy to find out more information and discuss the issue with them. 

“Having done so, the responsible pharmacist has taken feedback from our inspector, and has asked us to pass on their apologies for what has happened.

“In light of this, we don’t think it is necessary to undertake a formal investigation into an individual’s fitness to practise, and we feel that measures have been taken to reduce the risk of your experiences being repeated.”

Mr Harris has now switched to using an online pharmacy to deliver his medication and hopes the experience of being without his medication for two full days not ‘return to haunt’ him.

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“The response from the inspector was fine,” he said. “It was never going to be a huge issue but the stations have a good track record of keeping people alive, they keep me going.

“They know now it should not have happened and that’s all I can do.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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