When you talk about selecting a pharmacy, it is vital to keep in mind that a bigger store may not always translate to a better a store. As per a survey published by Consumer Reports, it was identified that traditional “Mom and Pop” outlets and stores are making a comeback after a long time struggle in the US.
That is primarily due to one thing – a personal touch. People strongly prefer to shop from places where they can get some personal attention and service. However, one of the top considerations in selecting a pharmacy is to take into account all the necessary specifications of your family’s treatment plans and medications irrespective of whether the pharmacy is a small store or a large supermarket.
No. Not All Drug Stores and Pharmacies are the Same
Independent statistical reports and surveys reveal that drug stores and pharmacies significantly vary when you pair them against factors like the variety of services offered and the range of competence. And both these elements are pertinent to you and your family’s health. That is essentially a truism because you’re relying on the professional and qualified pharmacist to get all your prescriptions right and without any margin of error every time to visit the pharmacy.
This is incredibly important for prescription medications, which are like a long-term investment for your healthcare needs – and just like any investment, you would want a favorable return. And for that to happen, you need a credible and accomplished pharmacist.
One of the most critical aspects of selecting the right pharmacy is determining whether or not a particular drug store accepts all your prescriptions or drug plan. It is important to understand that not all drug stores will accept your insurance policy.
So, before heading out to the store, call ahead and inquire as to what type of insurance plans and policies they accept. It isn’t wise to pay a full amount out of your own pocket – not to mention it will put a dent in your monthly budget.
But if you have minimal or zero coverage for your medical prescriptions – get in touch with different pharmacies and drug stores that offer a discount on your prescription.
Moreover, a majority of pharmacies offer generic versions of the medications you are using – and a lot of them may be available. Try looking for a Cialis voucher program or switching to generic medications to help save money in the long run.
The Availability of your Prescription and the Location of the Pharmacy
Selecting a drug store that operates for longer hours is a top factor to consider. That is mainly because pharmacies close shop after limited hours will not help you in case you or your family member is suffering from a health complication. You need to find a pharmacy you can depend on in case of an emergency.
Look for an establishment that offers convenient hours. However, that primarily depends on what city you live. Some cities have drug stores that are open all night long and have professional pharmacists who can fill your prescriptions without wasting any time.
But a majority of pharmacies that are open late are affiliated with different corporate chains. A bulk of small-scale drug stores don’t operate after dark – however, they will offer you a more personalized shopping experience and streamlined services.
But irrespective of what pharmacy you go with – it is important to at least know a couple of drug stores you can go have your prescriptions filled-in on an emergency basis.
The Knowledge of the Pharmacist
Aside from being warm and friendly and adequately filling your prescriptions – there is another factor that you have to look for in a pharmacist – and that is how knowledgeable he is and the type of information he has. Your pharmacist should be able and willing to offer information regarding your queries and questions about the prescription. Anything thing from the name of the medicine, its formulation, how to use it, contraindications to generic alternatives – the pharmacist must be able to provide you valid and on-point information.
Plus, as you get more familiar with your pharmacist, he will be able to offer you personal advice related to your medications and prescriptions based on the knowledge he has pertaining your particular health concerns and complications. He will also be able to offer over the counter medications that will not interfere with your prescription.
Should You Stick with Just One Drug Store for Your Prescription and OTC Requirements?
Well, it is smart to stick to one pharmacy mainly because you will get to know your pharmacist and he gets to know you and the medical needs of your family. Plus, it is his responsibility to ensure that none of your prescriptions collide with other medications such as OTC painkillers and whatnot. Moreover, because he knows you and that you are the establishment’s every day customer, the pharmacist will quickly fill your prescriptions and keep you up to date with new, generic drugs that match your prescriptions.
After all, loyal customers will always be given royal treatment.
Multi Chain Stores vs. Independent Pharmacies
As per multiple surveys, it has been identified that traditionally, independent drug stores and small-scale pharmacies are strongly preferred because of speed of service, accurate services and for offering consistent, up to date information to all customers.
That is a truism solely because small and independent pharmacies thrive on prescription medications, they earn more revenue from it. And priority attention on all your prescriptions means less chances or error and a comprehensive coverage of all your personal needs compared to if you go to supermarkets and departmental.
There is no question you can expect quality service from them – however, when it comes to convenience and personal attention, drug stores in supermarkets are nowhere near individual drug stores. Not to mention, you have to stand in a long waiting queue, navigate through crowds and may not frequent the place.