by Allyson Eichner, PharmD Candidate, Creighton University
Did you know that simply knowing your pharmacist’s name can help you be more familiar with your medications? A survey conducted by the American Pharmacists Association showed that consumers who knew their pharmacist’s name were twice as likely to talk with their pharmacist about questions they had about their medications. They were also twice as likely to read prescription labels and more likely to know the active ingredients in their medications – both prescription and non-prescription. Knowing what active ingredients you’re taking is important in avoiding interactions between medications that can be harmful to your health, as well as avoiding accidental overdoses from taking several products with the same active ingredients.
Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on prescription and non-prescription medications. Wouldn’t you want to ensure this was money well-spent? The most expensive medication is one that doesn’t work – or worse, actually causes you harm. Talking with your pharmacist about your medications is one of the best and easiest ways to increase the likelihood that your medications work properly and decrease unnecessary medication costs.
Pharmacists are medication experts and can help you manage your health in a variety of ways. Medication Therapy Management services, or MTM, provide a one-on-one review of all your medications to screen for interactions between drugs, unnecessary drug duplications and to ensure all of your conditions are adequately treated. Pharmacists can also provide advice on over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins and minerals. They can help you monitor your diabetes, screen for high blood pressure, help with smoking cessation, and much more.
Pharmacists at Kelley-Ross Pharmacy provide many different services to meet the needs of our patients. A few of these include:
- A robust immunization program that provides seasonal and life-span vaccines
- Our travel clinic provides a comprehensive travel service; reviewing your itinerary, prescribing necessary medications, and providing safe travel advice, all in one convenient location
- A unique narcotic overdose prevention program that provides take-home naloxone to help patients, their families and their friends
- Our PCAB accredited compounding lab is able to provide customized medications to meet the unique needs of our patients and their providers
- The MedSync Cycle Fill program allows patients to synchronize refills of all of their chronic medications to just a single day each month
- Specialized compliance packaging options
- Our Clinical Pharmacy Institute that focuses on delivering medication management expertise and high quality clinical pharmacy services in a variety of settings and locations
Ultimately, your health care is your responsibility, but your pharmacist can help. Find a pharmacist you are comfortable with and try to use the same pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions, especially if you see multiple doctors for your health care needs. Update your pharmacist regularly if you have changes in your health or the medications you are taking. This allows them to have a complete medication history when checking for problems or possible interactions.
Take some time this month to get to know your pharmacist and see what a difference it makes in your health care.