Tom Large, Villa Rica Drugs

It's about You and Your Pharmacist

by Tom Large, RPH
Originally published in Villa Rica News & Views
Villa Rica Drugs, in downtown Villa Rica, opened in October 2011. One of the reasons for opening an independent pharmacy, according to owner Tom Large, was to provide a pharmacy where customers could have a personal relationship with thier pharmacist.

It's important to have a personal relationship with your pharmacist. That kind of relationship can improve your healthcare and save you money.

Your pharmacist should be looking for ways to save you money. For example, many people have not taken their medication regularly because of the expense. Even if you have insurance, high co-payments can make your prescriptions unaffordable and put you in the "donut hole" early. Often, this is not necessary because there may be an almost identical drug, at a fraction of the cost, which could be submitted with just a phone call to your doctor. Your pharmacist should help you to change your prescription to a less expensive alternative. A copay of $30 per month for a brand name drug can often be reducted to $2 or $3 per month by just changing drugs. If this is a medicine you refill each month, you could save $300 or more a year just on this one prescription.

Another way your pharmacist can save you money is by dispensing a 90 day supply when your insurance allows. Usually, the insurance copay is the same for a 30 day supply or a 90 day supply.

Having a personal relationship with your pharmacist can improve your healthcare.

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Have you ever needed an over-the-counter medicine for nighttime leg cramps but weren't sure whether to get a muscle relaxant or a mineral supplement? Your pharmacist can help you answer that question. At any pharmacy, you can purchase blood pressure medicine or a blood sugar machine without a prescription or even without customer assistance. But do you know how to use them? Would you
like someone to show you how? Are you getting too much Tylenol in your arthritis or pain medicines that can lead to liver problems? Should you get an antihistamine or a steroid cream for the itch on your skin? Maybe you ahve a new prescription for your diabetes, but can't remember whether you were supposed to discontinue the old medicine or keep taking it with the new prescription. These are all important questions.

After you have seen the doctor, there is another important healthcare professional who will make sure you get the right medicine at the right price, with complete instructions and a face to face meeting so you can get answers to your questions - someone who cares about you and not just your business. It's about you and your pharmacist.

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