Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Add It To The List

When I talk about healthcare, I always include something that most people don’t really think about: pharmacies.

Caught you off guard, didn’t I?

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about their particular pharmacy, but over the years I’ve learned how important it is to have a trustworthy and smart pharmacist to work with. I’ve had good and I’ve had bad, and I add it to the list of “important things to think of” whenever I move to a new location.

Pharmacists are key to your healthcare. They provide you with the medicine you need, and that’s enough to get on my radar. Also, I’ve found that if there is any minor emergency, any need concerning medicines, including over-the-counters, a good pharmacist is a very useful ally to have.

This subject is particularly important to me at the moment, because I’ve found myself in a situation where I need to find myself a new pharmacy to go to. My first choice pharmacy turned into something unreliable and not exactly a friendly place to go.

I had to deal with numerous times where my prescriptions did not get filled, leaving me in an urgent condition and completely helpless. I wasn’t kept in the loop, and the members of my pharmacy did not alert me to any problems they might have run into. They simply set me aside, leaving me without my medications, vulnerable and troubled.

But I’ve had pharmacists in the past that have gone above and beyond. Pharmacists that have really taken care of me, and made and effort to build that relationship.

Pharmacists who listen to my questions and thoughtfully reply with care and concern.

Pharmacists who keep me up-to-date as to what the status is of my medicines. Who will call me when needed and make sure I am happy with their caretaking.

A connection you have in case getting a hold of your doctor with a question about medicine doesn’t work out.

An important situation in which having a pharmacist you can go to is when you might be sick. If you’re on specific medications, some over-the-counter drugs can interact unfavorably, but a pharmacist can help you pick a good alternative.

I had one pharmacist a few years ago that I went to when I was sick with a stomach flu. He knew all of my medicines, then took me to the isle with remedies and showed me which ones he knew worked, and which ones he wouldn’t bother with. He was honest and sympathetic, avuncular even. I thanked him profusely, and from then on we were on a first name basis.

Funny enough, once he saw me walking up to the counter he would go right to pick up my medicines and have them waiting at the counter for me. I liked that.

Amusing when you go to the pharmacy so often that the people working there get to know you well.

I like having a pharmacy that will take care of me, and view their position as important for that reason. I like a pharmacist that will go to fill my prescription saying they’ll get right on it in order to get me feeling better. That’s their job, and I greatly appreciate it.

Some people might not need this extra person involved in their healthcare lives, but I think it extremely helpful. I like knowing I have one more person who will help me if I need it. Someone with knowledge that I might not have, who can supply me with extra information.

Because knowledge is power after all.

Think about it. Give a thought to talking to your pharmacist about your health. I often find that they are more than willing to help you find something you need.

You will find that once you begin to build that relationship, you will feel more comfortable going to your pharmacy, and more connected to your providers.

It’s the little things, right?

This article was originally written for Achieve Clinical Research, and can also be found here.


  1. I actually think about my pharmacy quite a bit...LOL. I have established a very good relationship with the own I use and it has been invaluable to someone like me who spends a lot of time and money there.

    In an effort to save quite a bit of money, I switched to a mail order pharmacy last year. I didn't make it past the first few days with them as it was an absolute nightmare! So I went back to those who know me and treat me like a real person.

  2. I love this post. My health insurance will only cover my RA meds thru a mail order phamarcy and I feel like I have a full-time job dealing with them. Those wasted hours of being on hold are something I can never get back. I have had so many problems getting my leflunomide because they don't ever have it in stock and you can never talk to the same person over the phone that they are forced to let me get some of the refills from Walgreens. I am on a first name basis with the pharmacist there and I hope she never moves or retires because she is awesome :)


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