Pharmacy staff facing violent abuse as demand for medicine surges in North Yorkshire
Pharmacy workers are facing violent abuse from the public amid widespread stockpiling of paracetamol, hand sanitisers and thermometers.
North Yorkshire Community Pharmacies said the coronavirus crisis has led to increasing reports of disorder at chemists in the region - as well as an "exceptionally high demand" for medication.
The contractors group is now pleading with customers to treat staff with respect and stop buying more medicine than they need.
Its chief executive Ian Dean said: "There is enough medicines in the supply chain, if everyone orders their usual quantities and duration.
"We ask you to do this, so we can do what your community pharmacy want to do which is keep their whole community safe.”
North Yorkshire Community Pharmacies said the "unprecedented demand" for medicine is down to patients buying more than they need - "just in case" they run out.
It also said staff are working tirelessly to ensure that everyone gets the medicines they need, when they need them.
But whilst working under immense pressure, they are experiencing violent and abusive behaviour from a number of customers.
In a survey of the 152 pharmacies in North Yorkshire, almost half reported that they have been subject to some form of abusive behaviour in the past five days.