Pulling Back the Curtain for American Pharmacists Month

Diplomat and its employees are in full support of American Pharmacists Month!What does a pharmacist do all day?  Your first mental image may be of a pharmacist working at a local drug store, dispensing medications. Pharmacists can also work at other locations, providing care to their patients, too!

In this blog post, we will discuss what goes on from the time you drop your prescription off to the time you pick it up.  We will also go over different places where pharmacists work to provide care to you, our patients – you just might be surprised! Lastly, we’ll go over the importance of getting to know your pharmacist. They can play an important role as a supporter of your health!

What happens when I drop off a prescription?

When you bring a prescription to your local pharmacy to be filled there are many steps that need to take place before you can legally, and safely, take your medicine home.   In addition to counting out the right number of tablets or placing a prescription label on a box of ointment, your pharmacist also performs a number of steps to make sure that your medicine will not cause you any harm. Pharmacists will verify that your medicine:

  • Is appropriate for your age, gender, and health condition(s).
  • Will not interact with any drug allergies in your health record.
  • Will not interact with any other medicines that you are taking.
    • Your pharmacist may ask you questions about other medications you take, including over the counter, to make sure that you do not have any unwanted effects from drug interactions.  The pharmacist may also contact your doctor to suggest an alternative medicine if drug interactions are a concern.
  • Is covered by your insurance.
    • If your medicine is not covered by your insurance, the pharmacist may contact your doctor to suggest an alternative.

Where else may a pharmacist work?

Not all pharmacists work at local drug stores.  Some additional settings where pharmacists work include:

  • Specialty pharmacies
  • Mail order pharmacies
  • Academia (teaching)
  • Nuclear pharmacy
  • Policy and advocacy organizations
  • Industry (pharmaceutical companies)
  • Insurance companies
  • Government agencies

Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine

To learn more about American Pharmacists Month, visit the American Pharmacists Association’s website! Throughout this month, consider the campaign’s message whenever you have an opportunity to work with your pharmacist: “Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine.” This encourages you to get to know your pharmacist, no matter where you may encounter them, and develop a relationship of trust that can help you better understand your medicines and your health.

Indeed, your pharmacist is a wealth of information.   When you pick up your medicine, the pharmacist or pharmacy technician may ask if you have any questions.  Your pharmacist can answer questions about how to best take your medicine, what your medicine is used for, and what side effects you can expect.  Pharmacists are truly the experts on medication, so you should ask them any questions you may have.  You can also call the pharmacy at a later time if you come up with more questions or if you experience side effects from your medication.

For more information about pharmacy and our patient services, feel free to visit our website. You can also contact us directly by calling 1.877.977.9118 or, if your question is not urgent, emailing us at hello@diplomat.is.