The Crazy Hat Box

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What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew

on June 5, 2014

A great post from a guest blogger, a Pharmacist, Dr. Becky.

Becky

Greetings friends! My name is Becky and I’m probably the oldest “new” pharmacy graduate you’ll ever meet! After earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology (back in the Jurassic period), I spent 11 years working as a juvenile officer. And then, one fine day, I got a wild hair and decided to go back to school to become a pharmacist. It was a long, hard journey (let me repeat…it was a long, hard journey) but definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made.   Last May, I finally became Dr. Becky (did you know most pharmacists have a doctorate???). And since then, I’ve been practicing community pharmacy and loving every minute of it!

I will probably jinx myself by saying this, but I think I’ve just about seen it all during my time in the pharmacy. Stop it. I know what you’re thinking. How could she have possibly seen it all in one short year? Keep in mind I worked as a pharmacy technician for 5 years before becoming a full-blooded pharmacist. And as I soon found out after entering the world of pharmacy, most folks assume EVERYONE behind that counter is a pharmacist and they aren’t ashamed to share the goriest details of their lives with anyone who will listen. So…I really have seen, heard (and smelled) it all. Believe me when I say nothing really shocks me anymore!

With that being said, and drawing upon the most frequently encountered scenarios in my pharmacy, I’d like to share the top three things I think you should know:

It’s all about the Benjamins.

Just because your doctor wrote for generic doesn’t mean it will be cheap. Yes, in most instances, generic is cheaper than brand. However, drug prices and insurance co-payments depend upon lots of things, unfortunately none of which I can control. But, I can help save you money by suggesting therapeutic alternatives and calling your doctor for permission to change. And as a side note, it also helps to know if your insurance plan uses a “preferred” pharmacy or mail-order services, or if you have an annual deductible. I can’t stress enough how important it is to become familiar with your prescription drug coverage, preferably before you need it. This can save you tons of money, time, and frustration. And if you don’t have insurance, take the time to call different pharmacies to compare cash prices.

No magic bullet.

Please do not waste your hard-earned money on weight loss products. Generally speaking, they are ineffective and can have detrimental effects on heart rate, blood pressure and even mood.   It pains me to say this, but when it comes to weight loss, there is no quick and easy fix (despite what you hear on Dr. Oz!). No pill will melt away unwanted fat. It’s all about good old-fashioned diet and exercise. Strive to make long-lasting life style changes that incorporate a healthful, balanced diet and adequate exercise.

Don’t believe the hype.

The internet is a great place to get reacquainted with old friends, check movie times for date night, or even find a last-minute gift for Father’s Day (which reminds me…), but it is NOT a great place to get your medication information. While there are some reputable sites, it still takes some specialized training and clinical skills to appropriately interpret the information. Otherwise, you run the risk of scaring the pants off your behind or discrediting a potentially beneficial treatment option. Listen folks, as tempted as you may be to google the name of the new drug your doctor just prescribed, do yourself a favor and come see me instead. Let me educate you. It’s what I spent 5 years of my life learning to do. And it’s my favorite part of the job.

 

Take care, God bless, and always remember to be nice to your pharmacist!

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