Friday, May 29, 2009

Pharmacy Phriday - Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Pharmacy Shop

I was reading a magazine article recently about small changes you can make to help save money. I am all about saving money. The more money I save, the more shoes I can buy. There was one tip in that magazine that really irked me though. Irked me enough to where I wanted to write a letter to the editor. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw the article. I'm pretty sure it was either in Rachel Ray or Real Simple because those are the two I like the most.
Anyway, the tip was to pharmacy shop for the cheapest prices. That means you might get your Lipitor at one pharmacy, Ambien at another, and Vicodin at a third. NOT A GOOD IDEA!!! Here are the reasons why::

1. You could die. Dramatic? Maybe. True? You betcha. Here's why. Most people go to more than one doctor, it's just a fact of life. Most women have at least 2, a primary and a gyno. Maybe you have an internist, endocrinologist or something else. In a perfect world all your doctors would know what meds you are on.
In case you haven't noticed, it's not a perfect world. They don't always talk back and forth and your pharmacist is the LAST CHANCE to find drug interactions that could harm you. There are a lot of drugs that you shouldn't take with others. Trust me. I do this every day.

2. What ever will they think? Let's face it, drug addicts and sellers are notable for pharmacy shopping. They call around to get the best price on Xanax and Vicodin so that they can get the most profit. In fact, if someone calls me and asks for a cash price on a control drug I usually wont give it to them. You might not care what your pharmacist thinks of you, and thats fine. Just know that if you go in there with an rx for a control drug and I don't know you, I'll look you up and see that you've been to Walgreens, to Walmart, to CVS, and everywhere else. Guess what. I'm not filling your prescrition.

3. But I'M not an addict! It really sucks. Druggies give everyone a bad name. Sometimes you really need the pain med. My advice: find a pharmacy and stick to it. That way your pharmacist will know that you have a genuine concern and will gladly fill all your prescriptions without question.

4. OTCs are medications too! It's a common belief that just because a med is sold without an rx it is safe. Umm, sorry. Not the case. You can die a very horrible death by over-dosing on Tylenol. All those herbals have interactions too. You could die. Check with a pharmacist.

5. We all like to be liked! Ya know how when you walk into Starbucks your friendly barista calls you by name? Well it happens in pharmacies too. Trust me! I have favorite patients and I love it when they come. I like to harass them, they like to harass me back. It's fun.

I hope you enjoyed todays post. And maybe even learned something. Go say hi to your pharmacist. You might make a new friend, or she might one day save your life (or at least your sanity).


Amanda said...

This is a great post. I too think we should go to one pharmacy. Plus also, to take that a bit further, I love my local, home-owned pharmacy. It feels good to support a local business.

rxBambi said...

Thanks amanda. I was actually going to say something about going to an independant rather than a chain. Many times at the big stores you're just another guy. Independents know their patients, their histories, their families histories. It's great. Plus you can usually get in and out, not like at Wal-Mart where they are *supposed* to make you wait so you'll shop.
And thanks for reading!!

marathoner81 said...

Sadly, there are no more "local" pharmacies in my town anymore, but I do stick to one pharmacy. Mainly because I don't want to have to go through all the insurance info at a pharmacy I've never used before.

Great informative post! I think a lot of people just take the things you mentioned above for granted.

otin said...

I think that I am going to start going to your pharmacy! I like a person that is looking out for my health! factoring in gas, a bottle of aspirin would cost me about 180 dollars LOL!

Hit 40 said...

I never thought about sticking to one pharmacy. Probably a good idea. I like the Walgreens down the street the best. They are never out of our drugs!! Good stockpile :-)

rxBambi said...

M81: Good for you for sticking to one. It's too bad the big guys ran out the independents. But chains can be good too: they are usually linked so you can go to any of them and they can see your medication history. Not as good as knowing you personally, but a close second!

Otin: You come to my pharmacy and I'll GIVE you that bottle of aspirin!!

Hit 40: I think a lot of people don't think about it because they see us as just counting out tablets. There's a lot more to it behind the scenes.

Thanks for reading everyone...think I should make this a staple?

O said...

I'd never thought about it this way but you raise a good point. I am the inverse of your average customer in that I have one doctor who I hassle for everything but I go to whichever pharmacy is closest when I remember I've been carrying my prescription around in my purse for weeks!

rxBambi said...

O: On the bright side at least your doctor will know which drugs interact. Still not as good as having the final check by the pharmacist tho. In addition, the pharmacist can see what doses of meds you've been on. For example if you've been on lisinopril 20mg forever and you come in with an rx for lininopril 40 the pharmacist will see the change and ask if you knew your dose was increased. Either the patient says yes OR it was a total mistake and the doc/nurse/whoever wrote the rx just wrote down the wrong dose. Happens all the time...

Loredana said...

I totally agree with the one pharmacy policy. It's just eaasier on you when you're already in their system and when you're already dealing with a pharmacist you know. I also feel so comfortable with my pharmacist I am able to ask them questions knowing they know me well enough to help me out. I do this with most of my shopping though. I'm loyal to my supermarket (I can't deal with going to see who has a better sale, etc), I'm loyal to my coffee joint because they never mess up my in the long run it works out for you!

B said...

This is very interesting, and something I hadn't really thought about before! A bit scary though... I'm a hypocondriac, and I now have more reaons to worry that I may die!