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How To Choose A Pharmacist

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Pharmacist?

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A pharmacist must have knowledge not only of the medications being dispensed, but also of how these medications act and can affect the body.

To choose a pharmacist that will be most beneficial for your needs, consider the following:

Your pharmacist should be licensed by your state.

Look for, or ask to see, a certificate which indicates the pharmacist is licensed in your state.

To verify the standing of a pharmacist with your state pharmacy board, see: offsite link. Once at the site, click on PPAD™ from the menu on the left.

Your pharmacist should have appropriate education.

Most educated pharmacists have a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree.

Next are pharmacists with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Last are pharmacy technicians.

The People's Medical Society believes the type of degree is not critical to good care.

Your pharmacist should be someone with whom you are comfortable talking.

If you don't feel that you can ask your pharmacist questions about your medications, or describe embarrassing symptoms, you may not be getting the most you can from a pharmacist.

The pharmacist should have a computer or other means of checking for negative interaction among the drugs you take.

The pharmacist should be able to print a copy of the list. You can use it to help prepare your own List of Medications which includes all the vitamins and supplements you take, as well as other necessary information.

To learn more, see: List of Medications.

If you are concerned about not disclosing your health condition in your community, the pharmacist must be someone who can keep a secret.

Is there a place to speak with him or her in private?

Your pharmacist should be accessible.

In addition to being comfortable talking to a pharmacist, you should find out what hours your pharmacist is available to talk with you. If you're comfortable with your pharmacist, but are frequently unable to consult with him, you may not be getting the most you can from a pharmacist.

Your pharmacist should be flexible.

If you need an emergency supply of a prescription drug, or need assistance getting drugs to where you are (for instance, while you're traveling), you may need the pharmacist's assistance.

Your pharmacist should be cost conscious.

Your pharmacist may know of a drug which is less expensive, or has a lower co-pay, than the one prescribed by your doctor.

If you deal with a pharmacist who works in or owns an independent pharmacy, he or she may also be flexible about collecting co-pays, or not charging you for non-prescription items.

Look for a pharmacist who has experience with your condition.

HIV, cancer, and other serious illnesses can involve treatment with complicated medication regimens. It can be helpful to find a pharmacist familiar with the condition and the treatment regimens.

There are a number of specialty pharmacies today, both mail order and local, that deal with the special needs of specific populations. For example, the CVS chain: Procare, is aimed at people with life-challenging conditions.

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