Pharmacists are important health care professionals, and a critical partner in your health and wellness team, so it makes sense to choose your pharmacist and family pharmacy with the same care as you choose your family doctor.
While convenience is obviously a factor in your choice, there are several considerations that should go into in choosing the right family pharmacy.
Having a pharmacy that you go regularly to means you can develop a personal relationship with the pharmacists there. Whether you choose an independent pharmacy or a specific location of a chain, getting to know the people there means they can offer you highly-personalized care and advice.
At any pharmacy, the pharmacists will have access to your medical and prescription information, and history of your medications, but a family pharmacist will know you as a person to help you better.
A pharmacist is a key partner in your health care to ensure you are fully informed about your drugs and other products for treatment. Having a regular pharmacist as your trusted partner for this helps you make the most of the benefits.
A key role of a pharmacist is performing a medication review, checking with your prescribing physician as necessary, and checking for any contraindications, including with other medications and vitamins. Your family pharmacy should provide drug interactions information, side effects to watch for, and other key information about your medications as part of the medication review.
When choosing from the wide range of pharmacies around, while all pharmacists will fulfill this duty professionally, you can choose one that takes the time to explain your new medications to you better, or one that you connect with and understand better. You should feel comfortable raising any questions or concerns, too, about any health conditions, treatment side effects, or other matters.
Your pharmacist can also guide you on suitable over-the-counter medications or natural health products that will work safely with your existing medications and health conditions. Again, the better your pharmacist knows you, the better the advice and recommendations.
It is important to fully understand what you are taking, and all of the precautions you should take, so it is a big advantage to go to a family pharmacy where you can feel confident that you are fully informed.
If you are going to choose just one pharmacy to handle all of your prescription and non-prescription drugs and related health care needs, find one that has all of the pharmacy services you need.
Some pharmacies offer blood pressure and other health care services, vaccinations, and do much more than just dispensing drugs and selling related products. Choose a family pharmacy that offers the key services you need; you can usually research this online, or ask your pharmacy, as some may offer more services than they advertise.
If mobility or transportation is an issue, but you otherwise like a pharmacy, ask about delivery services of prescription and non-prescription medication. This can also be helpful if you are away on vacation or for work for a period of time.
Some pharmacists specialize in certain conditions or treatment options, including expertise in asthma, diabetes control, natural health products, and more. Finding a pharmacist that specializes in something that is relevant to you can improve the quality of treatment you receive. Usually, a generalist is able to provide advice and guidance well for the entire family.
There are also some features that the pharmacy itself can offer that may make it a better choice for you.
If possible, it's great to support a locally-owned pharmacy.
Choose a pharmacy that provides private consultation rooms with seating, so you can be comfortable asking about your prescriptions, health care concerns, and other personal matters.
Pharmacies that are set up to help with your specific insurance plan are definitely more convenient; also, a pharmacist who is more familiar with you can offer you tips and guidance on options for medicines and generic alternatives that may be covered better by your insurance plan, working with your doctor to investigate this.
Don't be swayed by places that promise the lowest prices all of the time. You will be further ahead with a place which offers generally good prices and good value, as well as help finding generic and alternative prescriptions.
If you are looking for a pharmacist, Stayner Family Pharmacy is a locally owned pharmacy that works closely with patients and doctors to provide a high level of care. We offer specialty services, like smoke cessation and asthma help, personal, private one-on-one medication consultations, and much more.