When you go to the doctor and they prescribe you a medication, unless it is a Schedule II controlled substance, they can call or fax the medication into your pharmacy. This is convenient as the pharmacist can fill the medication and you can pick it up when it's ready rather than having to take the physical prescription in and having to wait. In order to do this, however, you have to have a pharmacist. If you don't have one already, here are three things to consider when choosing one.
Do They Accept Your Insurance?
Prescription medications can be expensive, and most people need all the help they can get paying for them. You don't want to use a pharmacy that doesn't accept the insurance coverage you have. In addition to prescription drug insurance coverage, some people have supplemental coverage that offers additional discounts. Before you choose a pharmacy, make a list of the drugs you are currently taking as well as the dosage. Then, visit a few pharmacies and ask them to tabulate what your out-of-pocket costs after insurance would be to fill them. If you don't have insurance, all the more reason to comparison shop.
Are They Convenient?
You need a pharmacy who will fit your needs, and that includes their locations and hours of operation. While many people look for a pharmacy near their home, depending on your needs, a pharmacy that has a location near your place of employment, school, or where you do the majority of your shopping and errands may be more useful to you. Additionally, if you have a vacation home or travel frequently, you may want to choose a pharmacy that is national and has branches throughout the country. You'll also want to check out their hours and the days they are open to make sure they mesh with your hours of availability.
Do They Offer Patient Consultations?
Taking the occasional prescription drug is usually pretty straightforward, but when you are on a lot of different medications, it can get confusing really quick. And while your primary physician should be aware of every medication you are on, if you see specialists, this information doesn't always automatically transfer to your medical records. This is why it is so important to use only one pharmacy to fill your prescriptions; the pharmacist is your second line of defense against dangerous drug interactions. If you can find a pharmacist who is also willing to occasionally go over your medications with you and explain what you are taking them for and how to take them, all the better.