Consumer Reports recently highlighted four ways that visiting your local pharmacist can make you healthier. With their extensive training and accessibility, as well as their ability to manage chronic diseases, pharmacists are an important member of the health care team. To reap the benefits of pharmacist-provided services, patients should:
- Choose the Right Pharmacy: Visiting the same pharmacy not only makes it easier for your pharmacist to flag potential drug interactions, but it also offers personalized service as your pharmacist learns your health history.
- Have an Annual Medication Review: Pharmacists are often able to spend significantly more time with patients than physicians are, spotting potential drug side effects and drug-drug interactions.
- Get Vaccines and More: Pharmacies offer more than just medications — you can receive immunizations, and some pharmacies even offer blood pressure or blood sugar checks. Some pharmacies can even help you quit smoking. A recent CDC study found that 40% of smokers enrolled in a pharmacy-based tobacco cessation program quit smoking.
- Ask for Advice on OTC Meds: Your pharmacist can also help you select over the counter meds; which is especially important for older adults who may take from multiple medications and supplements.