When you have moved to a new area or are unhappy with your current pharmacy, finding a new pharmacy becomes a priority. Not all pharmacies offer the same services, so you shouldn't simply choose the pharmacy that is closest to your home. Look for these four things when you are choosing a new pharmacy.
1. 24-Hour Services
For many people, the most important factor in choosing a pharmacy is convenient access to medication. You may run out of medication or medical supplies at any time, and sometimes waiting until morning can mean a night of discomfort. 24-hour pharmacies give their customers peace of mind by allowing them to refill important medications at any time.
2. Personalized Advice
Large chain pharmacies may have more pharmacists in total, but there is often less time for one-on-one interaction between these pharmacists and their customers. This is especially true if you visit your pharmacy during the peak business hours of the day. However, it is still very possible to find a pharmacist that meets your needs at the largest local pharmacy, so don't rule out any pharmacy based on size alone.
Personalized answers to your questions and concerns are a core part of the small pharmacy experience. This is a driving factor in the popularity of independent community pharmacies, which accounted for 35 percent of all retail pharmacies in the US as of 2019. Your pharmacist will be able to answer questions about drug interactions, scheduling doses, and potential side effects of your medications.
3. Same-Day Delivery
Another way that pharmacies make medication accessible to you is by delivering prescriptions to your home. Many pharmacies offer same-day delivery at a low fee. Others include same-day delivery as part of a premium membership billed monthly or annually. Premium pharmacy memberships may include other benefits such as in-store discounts.
Pharmacy delivery is an invaluable service for people with mobility issues who may have a difficult time visiting their pharmacy in person. Delivery is also appreciated by patients with sensitive medical issues who desire greater privacy.
4. Modern Tech
A pharmacy that offers modern tech features will provide more convenient services than one that is out of date. Your pharmacy should have a mobile app that offers email and text alerts when your medications are ready. Likewise, you should look for a pharmacy that has a modern website with account services and online drug lookup.
Technologically advanced pharmacies may also have on-site tech features like electronic kiosks. Pharmacy kiosks let customers manage drug pickups and prescription refills. Kiosks contain a small selection of medications that customers with a prescription can access. If the kiosk is located outside, customers can even refill their prescriptions after hours.
5. Cost Savings
The right pharmacy will work with you to help you fill your medical needs at an affordable cost. Naturally, you will want to find a pharmacy that is in-network with your health insurance provider. Your insurer may have preferred pharmacies that can offer additional discounts on your prescriptions. Similarly, you should make sure your pharmacy accepts any drug discount cards that you use.
Sometimes, the best route to cost savings at the pharmacy is to let your pharmacist work on your behalf. When you find a reliable pharmacist who is invested in your health, they may be able to uncover additional discounts by negotiating with your insurer or calling around at other local pharmacies.
Choosing the right pharmacy will make picking up your medications as stress-free as possible. Keep these tips in mind while you visit your local pharmacies so you can find the one that suits your health needs.