Medicine, Drugs now available at convenience stores 24 x 7
Today marks the first day, under a revised law, that allows stores other than drugstores or pharmacies to begin selling certain types of medicines / drugs.
The Yomiuri newspaper had this to comment about today’s commencement of the new practice:
Paraphrasing, “Convenience stores now able to sell drugs, the revised drug law begins. With the commencement of the law revision it is now possible for the convenience stores, supermarkets and other stores to sell medical supplies including medicines / drugs without having a pharmacist on the premises.
The major chain, 7 Eleven, started sales in their Kojimachi store at 3am today, 1st June 2009, and will be making them available to customers 24 hours a day, on an experimental basis. The drugs that can be sold are those which are said to have a low risk of side-effects, such as cold and pain relief medicine. Instead of having a pharmacist present, there is now a system of having a sales person registered who is responsible.
Up until now, 7 Eleven had 20 stores where they had a pharmacist present to sell drugs. With the law revision they expect staff to gain the qualification required to be registered and then increase the number of stores.”
Link to Yomiuri newspaper original article (in Japanese)
It is yet to be seen how many other chains will follow suit here and how quickly consumers will take to the 24 hour availability of medicines. This is certain to be another area where convenience stores will compete to gain loyalty from their customers.