Are Local Pharmacies A Thing Of The Past?
There is a big box brand pharmacy on almost every major corner or city center. These pharmacies are massive buildings or large commercial spaces that sell numerous over-the-counter drugs and fill mass-produced prescriptions. More than 1 in 2 Americans use prescription drugs, increasing demand for these larger pharmacies. However, local pharmacies continue to exist, often just a short distance away or in smaller communities. Conventional wisdom would say that local pharmacies are about to be obsolete. However, there are a few benefits to filling prescriptions locally that set these pharmacies apart from more prominent brands.
A budding patient-pharmacist relationship
Local pharmacies build rapport and relationships with customers and patients. These are often run by people who grew up in the community. Big box brands handle hundreds of customers daily, making relationship-building and excellent customer service challenging to come by. A local pharmacy can provide personalized service and high levels of customer care. Patients are willing to share more information and ask for recommendations when in a comfortable space. The pharmacist can also track medications more effectively since the patient commits to a single local establishment.
Can you check my medicine?
Taking prescription medication can be a challenge. Some people have multiple prescriptions, while others use supplements and herbs as part of a health regimen. With all these different drugs, a local pharmacist can best help the patient manage the process. Local pharmacists offer medication reviews, a type of consultation that can help with long-term health. The patient will come with a list of all medications and supplements. The pharmacist then updates the patient’s health record, reviews the medications, and alerts the patient of any concerns. This simple step can limit side effects and improve drug effectiveness. As a result, the patient stays healthier through improved medication adherence.
The power of compounding
What if a patient needs specialized medicine? In most cases, big box brands sell mass-produced drugs. Some local pharmacies, however, can help using compounding. The pharmacist controls the dosage, ingredients, and form when a compounding prescription is needed. Therefore, if a patient prefers a liquid or topical prescription, compounding can help. Compounding stretches to specialty areas big box brands can’t, like fertility medications and dermatology. This can limit the cost of the medication while improving the patient’s overall health.
Even with compounding, the cost of medicine can be expensive. Some patients cannot afford to continually fill prescriptions, which can affect long-term health. Local pharmacists go the extra mile to help patients save money while staying healthy. Patients are often advised of incentives or other benefits that help save money. Local pharmacists also hold personal educational programs and initiatives that help bring the community together. Offering valuable services like vaccines, hemoglobin A1c tests, blood pressure checks, and basic medical advice, local pharmacies put patients first.
Feels like home
Anyone can fill a prescription at a big box brand pharmacy. These spaces are fully capable of providing the medication and information patients need for better health. However, local pharmacies allow patients to create a lasting, long-term relationship with the pharmacist. The pharmacy, in turn, provides added services like compounding and medication reviews that can help patients stay healthier for longer. Add in excellent customer service, and filling prescriptions no longer feel like a chore.