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Pharmacy chain sees a ‘dramatic rise’ in cough medicine sales with spike of over 40pc

There has been a ‘dramatic rise’ in cough medicine sales, with an independent Irish pharmacy chain seeing a spike of over 40pc.

arePlus Pharmacy has compared sales figures from this year with the same period in 2020 from more than 60 outlets across the country. 

It found over-the-counter cough treatments jumped 42pc compared to the same quarter last year, while sales of over-the-counter cold and flu remedies jumped 14pc.

This may be due to Covid-19 restrictions being in place in the same period last year – between July and September. 

In 2020, Ireland escaped the winter without reporting even one case of flu as public health measures around Covid-19 helped wipe it out.

Pharmacist Tomás Conefrey, of CarePlus Pharmacy on Dublin’s Pearse Street, said as restrictions ease and people return to the workplace, he expected there to be a rise in cold remedy sales, however, the over 40pc rise in cough medicines “is higher than would be expected at this time of year.”

He added: “With the worst of the traditional cold and flu season still ahead of us, it’s really important people know the symptoms of Covid-19, make sure they have their vaccinations against coronavirus and the flu, and look after their health as the weather gets colder.

“Community pharmacists are well equipped to answer concerns about symptoms, or recommend medicines and supplements that could help alleviate or prevent these kinds of illness.”

Mr Conefrey said although cold and flu symptoms are becoming more common once again, patients who are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 must stay at home. 

“We can give you advice over the phone but it’s so important for you and those around you that you self-isolate and get yourself tested,” he added.

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