The owner of a local pharmacy has blasted national media reports that medicine is seven times dearer here compared to prices in Newry.
Ciaran Walsh, of Castletown Pharmacy, told The Dundalk Democrat that the prescription prices portrayed in the Irish Independent recently do not reflect those of loca l pharmacies.
He said: “I feel it is necessary to point out that the prices being quoted for prescription prices in the south are entirely unrepresentative and seem to have been ‘cherry-picked’ in order to somehow brand pharmacists in the south as rip-off cowboys.
“I know myself along with many of my colleagues in Dundalk and the surrounding border areas, are much more competitive than what is being portrayed in this article”
Ciaran claimed that the article priced a month’s supply of anti-fungal tablet terbinafine at €36.69 in a pharmacy in the republic. Castletown Pharmacy currently charges €14.50,
Last Thursday, The Dundalk Democrat compared the following prescription for a month’s supply:
Atorvastatin 10mg, Nuseals Aspirin 75mg, Ramipril 2.5mg, Bisoprolol 2.5mg. Pantoprazole 20mg.
A customer told the Independent it would cost €96.17 in a pharmacy in the south.
Boots in Newry quoted the prescription for €26.80. Walsh quoted the exact same price in his pharmacy.
Ciaran said: “Most of our regular customers already know we offer a good value service, as do most pharmacies in the highly competitive border areas.
“The recent unbalanced articles have portrayed pharmacists in the south as opportunistic money-grabbers in comparison to their northern counterparts
“I firmly believe in 90% of cases if you check the price of your prescription with your local pharmacist before heading north you generally won’t find a huge difference.
“This coverag e is detrimental to many local pharmacies in and around Dundalk, most of whom have drastically cut their prescription prices in the last couple of years to stay competitive with pharmacies in the north.
“We rely on local custom and in turn provide local employment and support many worthwhile local causes including charity events or sponsoring local sports clubs.”
Ciaran added that the customers of Castletown and Louth Village pharmacy raised over €5,000 for the Crumlin Children’s Hospital.