PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Weeks now into restrictive stay-at-home orders, many people are dealing with how to get medications that they need during the coronavirus pandemic. Some small mom-and-pop pharmacies in the city are delivering life-saving prescriptions to their customers.

“Even though the pandemic is so serious, people’s diabetes and high blood pressure still need to be kept in check,” Dr. Ben Palmer at Port Richmond Pharmacy said.

And they’re getting their medications delivered right to their front door.

“We’ve been around for a long time and we have loyal customers from Fishtown, Port Richmond, Kensington, even North Philly,” Palmer said.

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Palmer is a pharmacist at Port Richmond Pharmacy on East Clearfield Street. He says they’re making up to 50 deliveries a day.

“There’s a lot of people because of the crisis can’t make it out and therefore we’re stepping up,” Palmer said.

Palmer says deliveries have increased since stay-at-home orders were put in place. Reduced SEPTA service has made it hard for customers to get out.

Also, Palmer says some people are scared to go out of their house, and now independent pharmacies throughout the city have teamed up to establish a hotline to connect patients with their local pharmacies.

“It’s a wide range of people either they don’t have transportation, their kids are home and they need to watch them. There’s a host of reasons. We’re delivering goods as well,” Palmer said.


Palmer says not only does this service help their customers, but it also helps smaller pharmacies fight for their livelihoods against bigger retailers.

“The big chains with the insurance companies now, the decrease in payments from these insurance companies and the state, they make it increasingly challenging for us to stay in business, but we’re doing what we can to help the community,” Palmer said.

For more information, call the Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists hotline at 215-934-9412.