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#whatwedoinpharmacy: the hashtag that is educating the Twittersphere

February 24, 2020 0 Comments

Pharmacists are educating Twitter with the hashtag #whatwedoinpharmacy after degrading comments were made on the British morning show, This Morning. Find out more.


The morning show featured a segment titled “should chemists tell their customers they are fat?”, responding to the announcement that new guidelines outlined by the National Health Service (NHS) would encourage pharmacists to talk to certain patients about lifestyle changes to reduce obesity.

While the topic itself was important to discuss, featured journalist and broadcaster Sam Delaney was not convinced that a pharmacy was the place for such discussions should take place. He said:

“You could be in Boots. It could be very crowded in there and suddenly you are being called fat, by a chemist, who, I think, society generally, rightly or wrongly, don’t have much respect anyway because we think they are pretend doctors a lot of the time.”

Sandra Gidley, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said that the comments were “extremely disappointing and concerning”. She said:

“Pharmacists, including myself, were infuriated by the comments made denigrating a profession which on a daily basis saves people’s lives. We’ve been in touch with ITV who have now apologised, stating ‘contributors often express their personal or light-hearted views, which do not always reflect the views of This Morning. Referring to this specific topic we apologise if there was any offence caused.’”


Gidley went on to say that she had contacted Sam Delaney and “offered him a visit to a pharmacy to see first-hand what hard-working pharmacists do on a daily basis.”

Pharmacists have since taken to Twitter to reeducate society about their profession. Johnathan Laird, a contributor to Pharmacy in Practice and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scottish board, began the hashtag:

Pharmacy obviously needs a public awareness campaign

I’ll start

In the past, I have treated people with asthma who are having an attack by writing prescriptions for life-saving medications

Pharmacists dispense prescriptions but we also now write them too#whatwedoinpharmacy pic.twitter.com/AUoV44hjf3

— Johnathan Laird (@JohnathanLaird) January 19, 2020

This tweet prompted pharmacists around the globe to share incredible stories from their work.

Pharmacists train at masters degree level for 4 years then undertake a year’s preregistration training. Experts on medicines, minor illness, health promotion eg. diet, smoking, alcohol. #whatwedoinpharmacy pic.twitter.com/4IovQiOhqj

— Claire Anderson (@Clairewynn) January 19, 2020

As a hospital resident pharmacist I have made up sterile chemotherapy treatment at 2am for a newly diagnosed leukaemia patient who the consultant said would be dead by the morning if I didn’t #whatwedoinpharmacy

— Jane Charsley (@JaneCharsley) January 19, 2020

As a pharmacist, I have been called by the hospital in the middle of the night to provide advice on the correct dose of medication to treat a patient that the hospital couldn’t stop bleeding. I also gave instructions on how to make the infusion. #whatwedoinpharmacy pic.twitter.com/CmGwDUJNAJ

— Tamara Cairney (@TamaraCairney) January 19, 2020

We are the only experts in drugs. No doctor could tell you the detail that we could. Those extra details mean lives are saved. #whatwedoinpharmacy pic.twitter.com/qZ1Zr6mdvR

— Jay Patel (@JayP9298) January 19, 2020

Refused to sell a cream that the patient wanted for a tag on her forehead. Urgent referral. Turned out to be Basal Cell Carcinoma #whatwedoinpharmacy

— Rifat Asghar-Hussain (@reeyah1) January 20, 2020

We would love to hear your pharmacy stories! Use the hashtag #whatwedoinpharmacy and tag @gorillajobs!

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