Everyone is well aware of the magnificent role that community pharmacy has played throughout the pandemic, particularly when other sectors of healthcare pulled down the shutters.

Now, a Maghera-based pharmacy business is celebrating recognition of its contribution to the challenges posed by the pandemic by being awarded Healthcare Retailer 2021 in the Irish News High Street Heroes Awards!

Pharmacist J B Harkin established Harkin’s Chemist in the town in 1961 and his son, Vincent and wife Nuala, took over the business in 1996. Now, after 25 years of business, the couple and their teams in both Harkin’s Chemist and the recently-acquired second pharmacy in the town, T M Glass, are celebrating their success, which was both surprising and unexpected.

‘We’re all delighted,’ Vincent told PiF. “We’re delighted to have received so much public support for this award which has seen both of our pharmacies working as one. Nuala and I firmly believe that this award is recognition of the efforts of our staff in both pharmacies. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty and deserve this recognition.

‘We have been working very late nights providing vaccinations over the last six months, in addition to the everyday tasks and responsibilities, such as standard dispensing services, and this award recognises the dedication that our teams have shown to our local community.

‘Everyone is both overwhelmed and delighted at the news and totally appreciative of all the congratulations that we have received. This award is very much appreciated by us because it was voted for by our amazing patients and customers and we cannot thank our customers and patients enough.

‘We are so proud and appreciative to receive the Irish News Healthcare Retailer award. It provides a very positive boost to all of our team in both Harkin’s Pharmacy and Glass Pharmacy and is recognition of their unwavering care, dedication and professionalism in what has been a very difficult year for all.

‘We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all our patients and customers and to everyone who voted for us.’

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