Due to the new coronavirus, pharmacists do not ask you to come to the pharmacy if you have the flu, a cold, have respiratory complaints, and / or have to cough. It is also very important to keep 5 feet away from other people and to stay at home as much as possible.
What do you do if there are huge queues at the pharmacy, or if you are sick and cannot go outside? There are several options to have your medication delivered or to pick it up ‘contactless’. If this does not suit you or does not suit you, you can also continue to collect your medication from the pharmacy.
Have medication delivered by your pharmacy
All pharmacies have their delivery service, which is usually free. However, many pharmacists only deliver to people who are unable to get to the pharmacy, not to people who simply find it easier to get the medication home delivery. Inquire about this if you are unable to collect your medication, or if you have complaints that may indicate COVID-19 and need new medication.
Most pharmacies have information about this on their website. The advantage of having medication delivered by your pharmacy is that you are known and you do not have to make any additional arrangements.
Pick up machine
Some pharmacies have a pick-up machine. The medication is not delivered here, but you can pick it up yourself ‘contactless’. You open the machine with a collection code. You will usually receive this code via text message or e-mail. The pharmacist, therefore, needs your mobile number or email address to send the collection code. Check the website of your pharmacy to see if they have a pick-up machine.
Delivery throughout the Netherlands by online pharmacies
Several online pharmacies offer a service to deliver medication throughout the Netherlands for free. These online pharmacies usually specialize in chronic medications. You can also use these services when you can physically go to the pharmacy, but find it more convenient for it to be delivered. The conditions for delivery of medication by online pharmacies are the same as with ‘normal’ pharmacies, so you can get your HIV medication delivered to your home every three months.
To use these online pharmacies, you register online and you will usually be called for an intake interview. Your doctor, medical specialist, or yourself will send the prescription to the online pharmacy. You request the medication, it is packaged and delivered to your home for free on the agreed date. Online pharmacies can also request repeat prescriptions for you.
Delivery by a bicycle courier in Amsterdam
If you live in the Amsterdam region, you can use the MedicatieThuis app. People with a chronic condition (such as HIV) can order medication with a repeat prescription and have it delivered free of charge. Scan the current medication you are on and indicate in the app who your doctor or medical specialist is.
You then identify yourself (with your passport, driver’s license, or ID card) and a telephone call takes place for verification. After this, you can order the medication. The medication is delivered free of charge by a bicycle courier, Monday to Friday within 24 hours. You can download the MedicatieThuis app for free here.
Advantages and disadvantages of delivering medication through online pharmacies?
The biggest advantage of having it delivered is of course that you do not have to leave the house yourself. A disadvantage is that you have to be at home when the medication is delivered. Another disadvantage is that you do not have ‘live’ contact with the pharmacist, and it may be less easy to ask your questions.
An advantage is that your privacy is guaranteed if you have the medication delivered to your home, no one can listen in and you do not meet unexpected acquaintances. But if you have roommates who are at home when the medication is delivered, this can of course raise questions.
It is recommended that you permit the online pharmacy via the National Switch Point (LSP) to view your medication file. This way, any interactions between your HIV medication and other medication can be checked. Some people are not comfortable with this. Then it is better to collect your medication yourself.