Oberon Pharmacy under the pump as RAT demand far exceeds supply

All around the state, people are struggling to find and purchase Rapid Antigen Tests, known as RATs at their local pharmacies. This has led to many pharmacies fielding non-stop calls from residents looking for RATs and has forced some businesses to post signs outlining the lack of available tests in an effort to curb the public's fervent appetite.

Oberon has not been immune from these issues either, speaking with the Review, Bianca Stoneman who works as a Dispensary Technician at Oberon Pharmacy said they've had to assign extra staff just to handle the volume of calls they're receiving.

Bianca Stoneman from Oberon Pharmacy.

Bianca Stoneman from Oberon Pharmacy.

"Last week, we - our phones were just ringing non stop, we had to have a few people just purely answering phone calls, which then put a lot of strain on the staff out the front," Bianca said.

"Because we didn't have extra staff to help people run through the vaccinations and just general pharmacy duties that we have to go through - we often would stay back after to get the work done..."

She said any tests they have been able to get have sold out immediately and one shipment never made it to the store after the government snapped it up. Something that has happened at other pharmacies across the state.

"We've got another order in, but they're not providing a secure date when we're actually going to get them... the list is nearly four pages long of people who want them," she said.

"We ordered 500 [tests] just after Christmas, and that one has now been pushed back. So we won't get that until February because the government took that whole lot, all 500 boxes of tests."

She said the best thing people can do to help is to be patient and understand that they're doing everything they can.

"The only thing we can keep doing is just answering those calls. And just tell them [customers], 'No, sorry, we don't have any yet.' And catch up on that backlog," she said.

"I think, once we've caught up, then it'll be easier on us to say 'yes or no', when we have any."

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