Do you love your pharmacy?
I know it might seem like a silly question, but we have found that using a great pharmacy makes life easier.
With the chronic conditions, we manage we are at the pharmacy often.
At the moment, Shaun sees a pediatrician and three specialists. He is diagnosed with multiple food allergies, asthma, eczema, environmental allergies, and eosinophilic esophagitis. Each allergic condition requires treatment plans with several medications; Maintenance medications, medications for sick plans, and emergency medications are all needed to keep Shaun safe and healthy.
All these medications are why having a good relationship with your pharmacy matters.
Your pharmacy oversees ALL the medications from ALL the different doctors on your care team.
On the most basic level, your pharmacy should:
- Make sure all prescribed medications will not cause drug interactions.
- Verifying instructions and information about medication.
But 5 years ago, when we started this allergy journey, we learned that a pharmacy could be so much more than this!
Until that time, we sent prescriptions to whatever pharmacy was physically closest to home. I think most people take this approach and then make a change if they have a horrible experience.
In our case, we made a change because Shaun needed a special compounded antibiotic to take care of his severely infected eczema. After a lot of phone calls, we finally found one pharmacy that could fill it for us. It was about 25 minutes away from home and not central in any way to Shaun’s doctors. The plan was to fill this one antibiotic and go back to using the regular local pharmacy.
Yet, our experience with the pharmacy’s customer service changed everything!
I was tired, scared, and stressed. We were having trouble obtaining the medication my 6-month-old needed. (Medication that I was not thrilled to put Shaun on in the first place.)
The pharmacy staff was kind, offering to call the original pharmacy to get the prescription in an effort to fill it as soon as possible. We went later that day to pick it up, and they seemed to know who we were when we walked in the door. They got Shaun’s medications and talked to us about what to expect and let us know to call if we have any questions or concerns. Not to mention, the packaging of the medication allowed us to dose the medication into an infant syringe quickly.
Although these might seem like small gestures, they were not insignificant, especially as John and I struggled to get a grip on Shaun’s health! The small yet extra effort in service and product was enough for us to move all our prescriptions.
We still use this same pharmacy! We drive the extra distance because it is worth it.
Just recently, as John changed jobs, although we considered the change to our insurance, we didn’t think about if the change would affect the ability to use the pharmacy (First world problems I know, but we were distraught by the possibility.)
Here is why we love our pharmacy!
- The staff knows who we are. On the phone or in person, they always have our information ready to go.
- A person always answers the phone! No menu of choices or leaving a message on a machine to wait for a callback.
- They are always well staffed. Well staffed, meaning enough people are working to meet the needs of the customers as well as staffed with people who are knowledgeable and helpful.
- They work with us to make sure medications get proper labels for school. And in some cases, split the medication into two containers so we can have it at home and school.
- They offer to do the leg work when they can. Call a doctor to ask about a generic? Find out about medical supplies that they would need to order? Getting a copay coupon card to reduce the cost of medication?
- They set expectations and follow up. I have never had to call them because I didn’t hear back about a question or concern they were looking into.
- If they can get us a better price, they will!
There are so many things that we are continually trying to manage with Shaun’s allergic conditions. Having a pharmacy that will go the extra mile to work with us is a huge blessing.
We often spend a lot of time making sure we are seeing the right doctor. Why don’t we consider if we are using the best pharmacy option, we have access to?