1. Check for drug interactions: Every time you fill a prescription at your pharmacy they should do what is called a “Drug Utilization Review”. This will review all of the medications you take and your medication allergies and make sure it safe to take this medication.

2. Contact your physician for refills: When you call your pharmacy to get a refill on a prescription that is out of refills your pharmacy should automatically contact your physician on your behalf. Pharmacies now have the ability to contact the prescriber many different ways. Phone, Fax and now what is called escript which makes it much easier for the pharmacy to get refill authorization then it would be for you.

3. Fill the Generic for of your medication: In an effort to save you money, pharmacies should fill the generic form (if available) of your medication, unless you are a patient that specifically wants the more expensive brand name medication and are willing to pay for it. If there is a generic form of your medication available and your pharmacy is dispensing you the brand name, you need to find out why.

4. The Fastest Pharmacy Service: You should not have to wait what seems like an eternity for your prescriptions to be filled. If you are waiting on average more then 20 minutes then you need to look for a new pharmacy. What most patients don’t realize is that with insurance coverage your copay will be relatively the same no matter what pharmacy you go to. So if you are going to a “Big Box’ pharmacy and waiting forever for your medications because you think it is cheaper, then you have been wasting your time.

5. Keep your medications in stock: If you have a reoccurring prescription then your pharmacy should always have your medication in stock. Using their computer system your pharmacy can set it up to always keep your medication in stock. If you call for a refill and your pharmacy tells you they have to order the product in then you should think about switching to a pharmacy that will have your medicine readily available every month.

6. Counsel: I know the title read 5 things but this is important. Your pharmacist should counsel you on every new medication that you are prescribed. To ensure your safety and that your medication will work correctly, the pharmacist should go over with you… What the medication is for (why you were prescribed the medication), How to take the medication and What are the possible side effects a a minimum. So the next time you are asked at the pharmacy counter “Do you have any questions” take the time to talk to the pharmacist and make sure you understand your medication.

Check out our next Blog: 5 things you probably didn’t know you pharmacy can do for you