Buying Medication in KSA

Today I took a trip to the pharmacy and a few things came to mind.  For one I have to go to a pharmacy to get any and all things medicine.  Sure we have pharmacies in America but you can also find a pharmacy in all grocery stores.  You can also get non-prescription drugs in a grocery store.  But here, even if all I want is aspirin, I can only get it from a pharmacy.  I suppose it’s a business at the end of the day and they don’t want to share business with grocery stores. But for me, it’s a pain in the neck to make so many stops to get things done in a day.

The next thing I noticed, which isn’t new, is that I can buy anything I want from the pharmacy without a prescription.  It’s good for me and a for a lot of people.  In America, you have to have a doctor’s visit to get the prescription to begin with.  And let’s face it, even if you have insurance chances are you still have a co-pay so there’s no such thing as a free office visit.  A couple months back, I needed an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  No need to see the doctor.  I walked in the pharmacy and told the pharmacist the name of the medicine I wanted.  And he gave it to me, no questions asked.  I remember thinking, “This is awesome.”  I don’t have to waste my time waiting for a physician to ask me a bunch of questions and write me a prescription.  It’s great, but it can be scary as well.  Imagine someone asking for medication without knowing the risks and just being able to buy it like candy.  I’ve never heard of any problems like that, but it is a possibility.  I went to the pharmacy again today and said I needed xy drug because I was having adverse effects from a similar drug.  “You can use this instead,” he said.  Well, okay.  I paid for it and left.

Just a day in the life of someone living in KSA.

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