Finding the Right Kind of Pharmacy for You
If it is time for you to look for a new pharmacy, then you should know that bigger isn't always going to be better. Many of the smaller mom and pop drugstores have been making quite the comeback as more and more people have begun to gravitate toward these kinds of pharmacies. They often have lower prices while offering a much more personal touch to the interaction.
But how do you choose? Finding the right kind of pharmacy for you depends on a number of factors, and it never hurts to take your time, do some research, and find what you feel is going to be the best fit for you.
Is Choosing a Pharmacy Important?
There are several pharmacies available in many areas, and they offer a range of services that you may need. However, you need to make sure that the pharmacy you choose is going to get things right every time. Prescription drugs can be considered an investment in your health, so you want to make sure you are getting all the help you need. For this, you need the right pharmacy, not just any pharmacy.
Factors to Consider
One of the biggest considerations when choosing the right pharmacy is going to be the location. You don't want to have to travel too far from home to pick up your medications, so finding a pharmacy closer to you is always going to be a goal. However, there are other important factors you must also consider in addition to the location.
You also want fast and accurate service. The prescription should be done and available when it was promised, and you shouldn't have to wait a long time for service.You also want there to be a certain amount of comfort when dealing with your pharmacist. If you have questions about your medicine, you shouldn't be afraid to ask, and they shouldn't act like they don't have the time or energy to help you.
Finally, the pharmacy should never be out of the medication you need. To avoid this, they need to have accurate records and should keep track of all the drug interactions that may affect you.
Qualities of a Good Pharmacist
Besides fast and courteous service, your pharmacist should also offer you the vital information you need regarding your prescription medications. If you have questions or concerns, they should take the time to address them. Questions about the medication itself, the brand name or generic, its uses, how it should be taken, and if there are any side effects are all information they should know and can dictate to you when you go in to pick up the medicine.
Once you get to know the pharmacist better, they may then be able to offer more personalized advice for you based on your health concerns. They should also be ready and willing to help you find any over the counter medications you may need according to your particular treatment plan.
Sticking with the Pharmacy
Once you find a good pharmacy, you should try to stick with that pharmacy. As time goes on, you build up a repertoire with the pharmacist. They get to know your individual health needs and concerns as well as those of your immediate family members. They will be able to keep a closer eye on any possible conflicts there may be with your current medication as well as any over the counter medicine you may also be taking.
Smaller Versus Big Chain Pharmacies
Surveys have been done in the past that have shown that the smaller, independent pharmacies were able to provide the best service, fastest speeds, and the most accuracy while also being able to provide helpful information to each patient.
The prescription medication at these smaller stores often makes up a good chunk of their sales, so that is where they focus their attention. You should always check and compare all local prescription drug prices when settling on a pharmacy.
However, that doesn't mean you can't find good service at a larger chain store pharmacy, either. These stores often prove to be the more convenient option for many, although it is less personal.
Types of Pharmacies
When choosing a pharmacy, you will come across several types, including retail, hospital and clinic pharmacies, mail order, and specialty pharmacies.
Retail Pharmacy. These are in brick and mortar locations and are often found in larger grocery stores and retailers. They fill your prescription, talk with you about the proper way to use your medications, and offer advice on over the counter medicine and immunizations.
It is right for you if it is conveniently located to your home, you need your prescriptions on the same day they were prescribed, and if you prefer more of an in-person connection with the pharmacist.
Hospital and Clinic Pharmacy. The pharmacists in these locations work closely with the doctors to manage and disperse the patients' medication. Some even dispense medication for outpatient care.
It is right for you if you have been discharged from the hospital with a prescription, or you had an appointment at a clinic in which you were prescribed medication. You can pick up the medicine on your way out.
Mail Order Pharmacy. The pharmacy receives your prescription electronically, fills it, and then ships it directly to your home. It can take up to two weeks to receive the medication through the mail. So, you can't get your prescription filled immediately. If you need an antibiotic or something similar, then this may not be the right pharmacy for you.
It is right for you if you have drug coverage under your insurance, and you have a recurring prescription that is taken on a regular basis. Some also offer savings on a three-month supply of your medication, so you can save money.
Specialty Pharmacy. These pharmacies dispense medication for complex or other less common conditions, including cancer and auto-immune diseases. These medications often have different storage requirements.
It is right for you if you are taking medication for one of these less common conditions, or you are taking medication that may require extensive information about the proper way to take it.
So, next time you look for a new pharmacy, keep all of this in mind. Don't forget to compare local prescription drug prices as well to see if there are ways you can save money at the pharmacy of your choosing.