Your pharmacist plays a very important role in helping you decide what is best for your health care needs. So, it's important to pick a pharmacy that is right for you.
The pharmacy’s job shouldn’t end when they hand you your prescriptions. Pharmacists should offer comprehensive medication reviews, collaborate with your prescribers to resolve any problems you may have, monitor your progress towards health goals, screen and educate you on health conditions, and answer all your questions and concerns.
What to Look for In a Pharmacy
Convenience: Are they in a convenient location and offer ample parking? If you are unable to get to the pharmacy, make sure they offer delivery or mail-out services. Also check to see if they have a prescription drop box, which gives you the freedom of dropping off your prescription any time of the day.
Personal Health Consultations: Look for a pharmacy that offers a private consultation room or area, so you can ask personal questions about your medications and health care needs without being overheard.
Insurance Acceptance: Finally, does the pharmacy accept a wide range of insurance plans? Insurance co-pays and contract pricing for prescriptions are usually the same wherever you go, but it's important to know up front if the pharmacy will accept your insurance.
Competitive Prices: Choose a pharmacy that also offers competitive prices on prescription and over-the-counter products. It is also important that the pharmacist has your best interests in mind, and offers generic medication, if there is one equivalent. Make sure he/she educates you on any differences between name brand and generic.
It's important to pick one pharmacy for the purchase all of your medications, prescriptions and over-the-counter products because this reduces the chance for drug interactions or side effects. By using one pharmacy, the pharmacist will know your medication history more thoroughly.
How to Pick the Right Pharmacy
Besides your doctor, your pharmacist is one of the most important health care resources, and you should feel comfortable asking him/her questions.
Some key questions to ask when choosing a pharmacist include:
Does the pharmacist take extra time to answer your questions and fully explain your medications? Minnesota law requires a pharmacist or intern to explain your new medications and to answer any questions you have, make sure you are receiving this counseling.
Does the pharmacist administer immunizations or have any special training, such as in diabetes management or asthma control?
Is the pharmacist personable and seems genuinely interested in you and your family’s health care needs?
Does the pharmacist recommend over-the-counter products or vitamins, and also let you know which ones NOT to take with your medications?