Reasons to build a relationship with your Pharmacist
1) Avoid using multiple pharmacies
Developing a relationship with one pharmacy can help reduce medication errors and adverse drug interactions. Typically patients with different doctors may prescribe multiple medications that may interact or may be unnecessary for you. This is termed polypharmacy, the use of 4 or more drugs by a patient. By building a pharmacist-patient relationship, the pharmacist is able to catch any drug interactions and medical errors that may include wrong dose, dosage form, or drug.
2) Reducing cost
Cost of medications can take a toll on patients and Pharmacists are encouraged to work with you to find ways to decrease these costs. Whether it is finding a coupon/discount or by recommending alternative medications such as generics instead of the brand, or over–the-counter medications that may be cheaper, the pharmacist will be able to help. Reducing healthcare costs for hospitals and patients is part of the pharmacist’s role.
The services of your pharmacy are more than just dispensing your medications. Immunizations are an important part keeping healthy not only for yourself but for everyone else around you. Vaccinations help with herd immunity by preventing the spread of diseases. The pharmacists can immunize against flu, pneumonia, pertussis, diphtheria, shingles and much more. The pharmacist is capable of keeping up with your medical record and will remind you if you are due for a vaccine.
4) Personalized Care
Over a period of time, if you go to the same pharmacy, you will eventually develop a relationship with your pharmacist. During this time, the pharmacists may familiarize themselves with your drug regimen allowing them to track your health. It is common to see several doctors prescribe one patient multiple medications. These doctors are unaware of other medications the patient is on due to lack of communication between the physicians and patient. Pharmacists are able to see your full medication list and identify any problems they see. They can then talk to the doctors informing them of the patient’s drug related problems and recommendations for alternatives if necessary. This is a part of a new method to keep patients outside of the hospital called medication therapy management services (MTM).
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University of Houston College of Pharmacy PharmD Candidate, class of 2018.
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