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A pharmacist calls

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Knocking on door

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“The machine beeped. Medicine’s ready,” called Janus. “Anyway, where is she?”

Veritas walked from the bedroom into the kitchen. “I’m expecting her at four. She’s not often late. Relax and I’ll make you a cup of green tea.”

Janus sat down. “OK. You’re right. It’s cycling today. I’m keen to get going but I’ll hang on.”

Veritas prepared the tea while looking out of the window. The cityscape stretched away into the clouds. “I’m glad you are taking this seriously. Intake is important. Triathlon training at 75 is demanding…”

“Don’t say it. It’s not a mid-life crisis,” interrupted Janus. ”Our grandparents lived to around 90. We’ll last to 150! I want to enjoy those extra years. A balanced food intake and physical activity will help, I’m told. You should know, what with your recent research.”

Veritas grinned. “This piece I’m writing for The Pharmaceutical Journal is really interesting. Thanks for your patience while I’ve had my head down.”

“It’s fine,” said Janus. “While we wait, will you tell me what you’ve learnt?”

Veritas spoke. “I, for one, never knew that pharmacists were so capable. We all know they are the medicines experts but they’ve been instrumental in refining their biological action and how we access them. Medicines used to be blunt. Mass-produced. With genetic profiling and patient-side manufacture they are now literally tailored to the individual at the point of need.” She took her freshly-pressed tablet.

“It’s all very clever but I still wonder how they know what we need.”

“They combine lots of data. Beds monitor bodyweight, houses track core temperature, clothes quantify activity and implants trace our personal chemistry. Everything is connected. Did you know they are working on endogenous medicine production through implants?”

“Wonders will never cease,” said Janus supping his tea and eyeing his bike.

“It wasn’t always this way. In the early 21st century pharmacy had lost its way. It couldn’t articulate its purpose well enough to convince others. Around 2020 it was as if the whole profession woke up and redefined its role. The Sustain movement expanded their focus to include everything we consume not just medicines. Food and drink too. Pharmacists look after that which sustains us. It was a clever name as it was an important step in sustaining the profession too.”

“That’s all very well,’ smiled Janus. ‘Our technology may connect us but our lives are less intimate than ever. What about human contact?”

“Now you are just playing Devil’s advocate. You know very well that pharmacists visit people every day and have a patient list of their own. It’s the most important part of pharmaceutical care and…”

There was a knock at the door.

“About time,” said Janus finishing his green tea. He looked at his watch. It was 3:58.

Opening the door Veritas was greeted with a smile. “Hi Veritas,” said Spes. “How are you?”

“Spes, it’s great to see you. I’m better now that my pharmacist is here. I have so many questions to ask you!” said Veritas.

Gavin Birchall

Gavin Birchall, founder and managing director, DOSE Design and Marketing Ltd.

Gavin’s piece received a special mention in our 2018 writing competition ‘Future Pharmacist’. Read more entries here.

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