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Glasgow 2014 activity analysis

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Following my recent post about our workload for minor ailments (, I thought it would be interesting to pick out a few pieces of information relating to overall pharmacy activity.

Prescriptions dispensed

Prescription numbers were higher than I imagined. Over 25 days we dispensed more than 2,000 prescription items. At an average of just over 80 items per 16 hour day, that doesn’t sound very busy at all, but let me assure you at times it felt extremely busy! Our workload was very unpredictable with real quiet periods during the day when people were training or at competition. That left very busy periods early in the morning or late in the evening.

Our peak activity came in the first couple of days of competition, and by that time we had been open for around 10 days so the systems were all bedded in and working well. The patterns of drug usage were also rather unpredictable, so we would have large volumes of one product on the shelf for the first week untouched and then suddenly within the space of a few hours we had dispensed all the stock and had some owings as well.

The 10 most commonly dispensed items accounted for around 40% of all items dispensed and were (in alphabetical order):

  • Carmellose 0.5% eye drops unit dose
  • Clotrimazole 1% cream
  • Co-codamol 30mg/500mg tablets
  • Diclofenac sodium 50mg tablets
  • Hypromellose 0.3% eye drops
  • Ibuprofen 200mg tablets
  • Ibuprofen 400mg tablets
  • Naproxen 250mg tablets
  • Paracetamol 500mg tablets
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg tablets

The Commonwealth Games are officially an English speaking games, but we were fortunate to have a couple of pharmacist who could speak French to counsel some of the patients. I was busy dealing with some orders one day and only gradually became aware of the fact that the French I could hear (and only barely understand) was coming from the dispensary and was detailing dosage directions and side effects.

Community pharmacy support

We had a total of eight community pharmacies who were able to support us by dispensing prescriptions for people who could not easily get to the Polyclinic Pharmacy. The need for this support was difficult to quantify and I was concerned that we didn’t either over-burden them or give them training then not give them anything to do. In the end, they played a vital support role with just over 100 supplied made from these pharmacies. Otherwise there would have been significant delay to obtaining treatment for these patients.

Medicines information

We had access to MedicinesComplete provided by Pharmaceutical Press and training developed on that by the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Medicines Information Centre who also acted as back up for us. In the end we had only a handful of queries, largely related to drugs and supplements and their status against the prohibited list. All were answered relatively quickly and without the need for specialist MI support.

What next for pharmacists at multisport games?

If you are feeling the post-Games blues or wish you had become involved, it will soon be time to express an interest for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Full details of the volunteer programme which opens 28th August are at


Acknowledgements: all clinical data and information is the property of the Commonwealth Games federation.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Thank you for sharing your experiences, it has been interesting to follow the process from planning to action. No doubt your consultation skills were fully tested, but it has highlighted the useful contribution that pharmacy can make to sporting events.

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