Duty pharmacy: how to find it?

After 8 p.m., at night, on a Sunday or on a public holiday, we may need urgent medication when our usual pharmacy is closed. Fortunately, there are pharmacies on duty, whether day or night. So, at any time, you can pick up your medication. But how to find the pharmacy open in your geographical area? Discover all the solutions to find the closest duty pharmacy to your home.

What is a duty pharmacy?

A duty pharmacy is a pharmacy designated by the Regional Union of Health Professionals (URPS) to open on a non-working beach (night, Sunday, public holiday). So that the distribution is balanced between the pharmacies of the same sector, there is a rotation. In France, every night and every Sunday, 1,300 duty pharmacies remain open.

On the other hand, we must distinguish between two types of guards:

  • the guard with open shutters. In this case, the pharmacy is open during the on-call time slot (eg: a Sunday);
  • and guard with closed shutters. The pharmacy is then closed and the pharmacist opens his pharmacy to a given patient (eg at night).

advice : to recognize an on-duty pharmacy, nothing could be simpler. Its green cross remains lit for the duration of the service.

What does a duty pharmacy do?

First, be aware that there is an obligation to have a pharmacy on duty, as stipulated in article L.5125-22 of the Public Health Code. The text then provides that “a guard service is organized to meet the needs of the public outside the opening hours generally practiced by pharmacies in a given area”. The implementation of the system is governed by the organizations representing the profession in the department.

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Thus, having a pharmacy on duty makes it possible to cover urgent needs on the territory so that people do not have to travel too far a distance to seek treatment. In a big city like Toulouse, for example, there are five on-duty pharmacies open on Sundays.

On-duty pharmacies are therefore designated to ensure continuous service. And this, in order to cover urgent needs. Note that in rural areas, the on-call pharmacy is generally located in the same sector as the on-call general practitioner for the sake of convenience.

Where can I find a duty pharmacy? The solutions.

Admittedly, there are necessarily pharmacies on duty at night, on Sundays or on public holidays, but how to find them? To find a pharmacy open during day care, there are several solutions:

  • day guards are normally displayed on the window displays of pharmacies. Go to your usual pharmacy to find the duty pharmacy. On Saturdays or the day before a public holiday, the pharmacist generally displays a sign indicating the duty pharmacies in the area. The information can also be indicated on the answering machine of the pharmacy. Call the number of your pharmacy before going there;
  • if you cannot get around, call the telephone number 3237. You will then be given the nearest duty pharmacy;
  • some local newspapers sometimes list duty pharmacies by geographical area;
  • on the other hand, if you leave the doctor on duty, he will be able to send you the address of the open pharmacy;
  • finally, there is a free website to find the duty pharmacy https://pharmaciedegarde.co/.
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Then, for night duty, you can use the same number set up by the unions, namely 3237. And to obtain the address of the nearest duty pharmacy, also call the police or gendarmerie. To do this, dial 17. You can also contact the Samu by dialing 15. Generally, these different services notify the duty pharmacist of your arrival.

Finally, if you suffer from deafness, aphasia or dysphasia, contact the emergency services by sending an SMS or a fax to 114. Specifically trained agents will answer you. This is a unique and free number accessible continuously.

To know : in big cities like Paris, pharmacies often offer a service late at night, sometimes until midnight. Some pharmacies are also open 24 hours a day. They are not considered on-duty pharmacies, but they do dispense the medications you need by prescription.

All-night drugstore : how to get medicine?

How is it to go to the on-duty pharmacy on a Sunday or a public holiday? Once there, just proceed in the same way as usual. Send the prescription to the pharmacist as well as your vital card, and your mutual insurance certificate, if necessary. Then collect your medication.

When it comes to night duty, the pharmacist, informed of your arrival by the police station, the gendarmerie or the Samu, awaits you. Don’t forget to bring your prescription, your carte vitale and your mutual insurance certificate.

Should fees be paid to an on-duty pharmacy? The rates.

First, be aware that a pharmacy on duty receives compensation from Social Security.

Then there is a fee applied on each prescription filled. They cost 5 euros during the day (Sundays and public holidays) and 8 euros at night. If your rights are covered, these costs are covered by Social Security. So you don’t have to pay anything.

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On the other hand, if you do not have your vital card or your mutual insurance certificate, you will have to pay the fees. But you can get reimbursed with a care sheet.

Finally, in order not to run out of medication and find yourself helpless, it is better to plan ahead. In case of long-term treatment, invest in a pillbox. This will save you on a Sunday morning or a public holiday from finding yourself without a stamp. The pill organizer models have dividers that allow you to prepare your medication in advance.

Read also : How to become a pharmacy technician?

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