Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mary Street Pharmacy – At the heart of the community for ten years

Located in the heart of Mullingar, Mary Street Pharmacy is a community-first, family-owned pharmacy. Open six days a week, the pharmacy is this year celebrating an impressive ten years in business.

Chris Monaghan, MPSI, is the owner and pharmacist at Mary Street Pharmacy who puts the customer at the centre of everything he does.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride,” he says of the last decade in business. “We’ve had the roadworks, followed by Brexit which led to drug shortages, and then Covid, which lasted three years. That was a great challenge to all of us: operating from the front door; wearing gloves and cleaning everything but we continued on.”

Chris Monaghan, MPSI, owner and pharmacist at Mary Street Pharmacy, Mullingar.

The last decade has brought a lot of changes for Chris and his team but the one constant has been their passion for serving the community. “Our service remains centred on the community and their needs. For us it’s the community. We’re a family run business, looking after people, offering free deliveries, free blister packs and going that extra mile for people. Mary Street Pharmacy provides a range of services including prescriptions, pill boxes and deliveries. Our pharmacy is the centre point in the community, for all sorts of things, sometimes not even healthcare problems. We’re the first point of contact and then we’ll signpost them to other services when necessary.”


One of the changes in the business in the last few years was a new system for the transfer of prescriptions from GPs to pharmacists. “The doctor sends down the prescription to the pharmacist and by the time the customer arrives to the pharmacy it can be ready for collection.”

Another change Chris has witnessed is the increase in demand for the delivery service and blister packing provided free at Mary Street Pharmacy. “Since Covid, deliveries have increased and the amount of trays we’re providing has increased. We did a limited amount of deliveries before Covid, but the de­mand has increased. Helping people manage their tablets – that’s increased too. We deliver everyday, as a family run business, we will do what we have to, to get people what they need.”

Looking forward, Chris foresees a minor ailment service, similar to the one already in place in the UK for over ten years. “If you had something like scabies or threadworm, rather than going to the GP, you could see the pharmacist and they would look after you. Pharmacists may also have areas they can prescribe. They would specialise in a particular area and could prescribe on that to alleviate pressure on the GP service. More pharmacy services would be good. It would be a very positive thing for pharmacists, but would require additional funding. The job involves a huge amount of administration, which was not there when I started. Pharmacy is the only professional sector that hasn’t had their fees restored since the financial crisis in 2008. We really need more pharmacists.”

Chris believes the health system is under more pressure than ever.  “Brexit meant a lot of pharmacists are not returning to Ireland, and a new English language test has meant less pharmacists are coming to Ireland, along with less pharmacists being trained in Ireland. The housing crisis means they can’t find accommodation and the brain drain means we are losing a lot of our young people.  Pharmacies, GPs, the health service…we are all overburdened. We want to take on these services but we would need help.”

Being in business for ten years is no mean feat, yet Mary Street Pharmacy continues to thrive. “We open six days a week. People hear about us through word of mouth. They say ‘Chris will look after you, Chris will try to solve the problems for you, source the products for you, do free deliveries for you, do his very best for you’, and this is what it means to be a family business – Looking after people. My uncle was a pharmacist in Belfast and I used to do his deliveries for him, back when I was eleven or twelve and since then I always wanted to become a pharmacist, helping people.”


Mary Street Pharmacy is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 6.00pm.

Call in or contact them at (044) 934 7493, email info@marystreetpharmacy. ie

Mary Street Pharmacy endeavours to provide a full and comprehensive professional pharmaceutical service to the local community whilst putting the care of the patient first.

Mary Street Pharmacy, Mullingar.
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