Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Buying Drugs March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 1:30 pm

I went to a pharmacy today to buy amoxicillin for a friend who’s home sick.  (Note:  medicine here is cheap and most is available over the counter.)  I went to the 24-hour pharmacy that also sells (well, used to sell) electricity credit so that I could get both things taken care of.  Here’s the conversation that ensued (in Portuguese):

Me:  Do you have amoxicillin?

P(harmacist):  Um…yes.  (Long pause during which I think he hasn’t understood what I asked for or that he’s waiting for me to explain something further)  Capsules?  For an adult?

Me:  Yes.

P:  Do you have a prescription?

Me:  No, sorry.  Do I need a prescription?  It’s for my friend who’s sick at home.

P:  Yes, you need a prescription for all antibiotics.

Me:  Okay.  Thank you.  One more thing, you don’t sell Credelec?

P:  No.

Me:  Okay.  Thank you. 

(I turn to leave and am about halfway to the door.)

P:  It’s a possibility.

Me:  (Walking back to the counter)  Sorry?  A possibility?

P:  It’s a possibility to buy amoxicillin.

Me:  I can buy amoxicillin?

P:  How much do you need?

Me:  Um.  I don’t know. 

P:  A week?

Me:  Sure.  One week.

P:  (Hands me two packets of capsules)  70 meticais ($2.80)

Me:  Two per day?

P:  Three per day.

Me:  Thank you.  


One Response to “Buying Drugs”

  1. John Hubers Says:

    Ah, yes, this brings back memories. It was much easier for you to have your periodic ear infections in Cairo as a two year old than in the States. In the States it would mean a trip to the emergency ward ($90) and an expensive prescription. In Egypt it was over the counter and about $3.

    So what’s better? A complete lock on medications including obscene prices? Or more access to drugs that are commonly used? Hmmmmm . . . .

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