Pharmacists Aren’t Created Equal
Pharmacies and the assigned pharmacist are expected to do the bare minimum, which is to fill prescriptions. Most go the extra mile by providing other products and services. Choosing the right pharmacist is critical, especially for those who need to fill multiple prescriptions. Some patients have specific needs, and others would prefer a personal touch. Whatever the reason, consider compounding medications as an added service the pharmacist should provide.
How to choose the right pharmacist
Pharmacies are almost everywhere. Large, commercial pharmacies are in malls, groceries, and city landmarks. There are small, independent pharmacies, too, with many around for several decades. These are known for being accessible and service-centered, with pharmacists who are trusted community members. The right pharmacist also has the following qualities:
- The pharmacist counsels patients on safe drug use.
- The pharmacist ensures the patient has the right drug at the right time.
- Required medications are reviewed and always available.
- The pharmacist advocates for patients with insurance providers.
These are some of the qualities of a community pharmacist. As a powerful, added service, look for a pharmacist that specializes in compounding.
Consider a compounding pharmacist
Compounding medication is not a new practice. However, more and more patients need services like compounding to meet individual needs. Compounding allows a pharmacist to take multiple ingredients or drugs to combine into one. For example, if a drug is no longer on the market, compounding can create the same medicine with the raw ingredients. The patient can then continue managing the condition through the compound pharmacy.
Avoiding allergies and side effects
The right pharmacist can use compounding to help patients with unwanted allergies. For example, some drugs contain preservatives and other ingredients that can cause flare-ups or side effects. The pharmacist can first recommend a medication that may not have the allergen. If the drug is unavailable, the pharmacist’s team can create a formula specific to the patient.
Increasing health with medicine adherence
For medicines to work, the patient must take the right amount in the correct dosage at the right time. Medication adherence is a common concern in healthcare. The right pharmacist can help with adherence through counseling and ensuring the patient has the right medicine. Compounding can help patients take multiple treatments in one dose if multiple medications are an issue.
Finding safer, cheaper alternatives
Doctors will write the best prescriptions based on the condition treated. Pharmacists ensure the patient has the right prescription based on a deeper understanding of medication. The pharmacist can identify drug interactions and change to cheaper alternatives as needed. In some cases, the pharmacist can even provide a drug without the doctor’s immediate intervention. With compounding, expensive, unnecessary ingredients, stay out of the formula. This process may create a safer, cheaper alternative for patients in the long run.
Make the right choice
How does a patient find a pharmacist with these qualities? Choosing the right pharmacist comes down to research and recommendations. Use online and real-life testimonials to help make a decision. The best pharmacists provide high-quality care, accuracy, and accessibility. Some may even offer compounding for prescriptions and supplements. The long-term health of a patient hinges on consistent, healthy, and safe medication.