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Make Your Pharmacist Your Health Partner

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When you think of your healthcare professionals, you probably picture doctors, nurses, and dentists. Not many people think of their pharmacists. If you choose the right pharmacy, however, your pharmacist will become a trusted healthcare partner. You need to search for the right pharmacist in the same way that you would your other healthcare givers.

Store Size Matters

In 2015, two of the biggest chains controlled 50 to 75 percent of the market in the United State's 14 biggest urban areas. Although the large chains can offer excellent service, customers of smaller independent pharmacies give higher marks to their pharmacists. This finding is not surprising since customers have more contact with the pharmacists in smaller stores. In larger chains, you may only interact with pharmacy techs or store clerks while the actual pharmacists are busy filling prescriptions in the back.


Having a proper relationship with pharmacists means discussing possible drug interactions with them. You can also have a longer, private consultation with a good pharmacist by taking advantage of the consultation window or even scheduling an appointment. Pharmacists are trained to explain your treatment plan to you, and they are able to make recommendations for over-the-counter medications. They can even recommend that you seek additional treatment for medical problems you are experiencing. 

Compound Pharmacies

If you need medication in a different combination or dose than is commonly manufactured, you will need to frequent a pharmacist experienced in compound medications. These pharmacies tend to be local, and 7500 of them specialize in  "advanced compounding services." Pharmacists who create compound medications are much more than pill dispensers. They have to call on their specialized knowledge and years of training to safely prepare these unique medications for their patients. For instance, multiple sclerosis patients use compound pharmacists to provide special drug mixtures that are infused into the spinal cord. These blends are not commercially available. Sometimes, compound drugs are actually cheaper than "regular" drugs. If you need a compound medication, finding the right pharmacist is vitally important to your health.

Pharmacists are true health professionals who are trained to take an active role in your health care. You should shop for one just as you would a doctor or nurse practitioner. You can consult them about your medicines, both prescribed and over-the-counter, and listen to their advice about drug interactions. If your pharmacist only fills your prescriptions, you need to consider making a change. 

For more on compound pharmacies, contact a pharmacy such as Camelback Pharmacy.