When it comes to the word ‘health,’ many people think of three places: the hospital, the doctor’s office, and the pharmacy. Of course, you know that the pharmacy is directly tied to your well-being through the filling and refilling of prescription medications, but here are just a few ways that your pharmacist can boost your health and make it easier to live your best life.
These days, if it’s not convenient, it typically doesn’t happen. With many medicines, this is a disaster waiting to happen. With your health in the balance, pharmacies have worked to make prescription refills as simple and easy as possible. If you’ve ever called into your local pharmacy to refill a prescription, you’ve probably interacted with their pharmacy IVR software that allows you to refill, cancel, or talk to a pharmacist about your prescriptions. Now, many large pharmacies are using this software to not only refill prescriptions quickly and efficiently but also to send you a text or email reminder when your prescription is ready to be picked up, or when it needs to be refilled.
Another essential role pharmacists are beginning to play in the U.S. is in the administration of simple vaccines. Flu vaccines have been widely available at pharmacies nationwide for a while, but as pharmacists become more relevant and essential to preventative medicine, you might find that other common vaccines are also available through your local pharmacy or health mart. Since vaccinations are medicine in syringe form, you can also feel free to ask your pharmacist about any possible risks or side effects, and they might be easier to contact than your primary care physician if you believe you are having a negative side effect from a vaccine.
While this factor is obviously gender-specific, the ability for pharmacists to consult with you about your reproductive health or that of a partner is a great way to reduce costs and increase understanding of potential risks and benefits to various prescriptions. As you talk to your pharmacist about different types of birth control, you might find out about new and improved brands to try that your old-school OB/GYN might not have mentioned. Even if you get your prescriptions from a licensed doctor, your pharmacist can help you monitor contraindications with medicines or conditions that might mess with the pill’s effectiveness.
Overall, pharmacists are a stockpile of essential information about your health that shouldn’t be ignored. The next time you head into your local pharmacy, feel free to ask questions of the pharmacist behind the counter. You might be surprised how much they really know.