Sunday, November 6, 2016
This week is Ask Your Pharmacist week, so we thought we would take the opportunity to remind you of some of the different ways in which your pharmacist can help...
1. We're the experts: Your pharmacist has spent more time studying medicines than anyone else you know so they're the best person to advise on the ingredients and their effects.
2. Medicine MOT? If you or a loved one are on long term prescribed medication and want to better understand the implications, book yourself in for an MUR (Medicine Use Review). This free service, available from your local pharmacy, will provide the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about taking your medication or the side effects. Finding it hard to swallow a tablet? The solution may be as simple as switching to a soluble version – your pharmacist can help (England only).
3. Newly diagnosed: If you have recently started taking a prescribed medication, you can arrange for your pharmacist to contact you after two weeks to answer any questions you may have and check for any side effects or concerns.
4. We will help you to save money, if we can. If there is a generic, non-branded version of the medication you are looking for, which may be significantly cheaper, we will let you know - often they contain the same ingredients and what you are paying for with the branded version, is the marketing.
5. Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers: According to The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, 89% of the population in England currently has access to a community pharmacy within a 20-minute walk - and all with no appointment necessary and we are often open late and 7 days a week
6. We can administer vaccines there and then. Many pharmacies offer a walk-in vaccination service, so if you need a last minute jab or your GP is unable to help, you can just drop in, without an appointment. We can also advise you on how best to administer your own injections, should you need a little help.
7. We're here to support, not judge: our private consultation rooms provide space for those conversations that you might not want to have over the counter. We will also advise on the best course of treatment and whether there is a free or cheaper option available.
8. Make us your first port of call. With the NHS under increasing pressure and waiting lists for GP appointments getting longer and longer, your pharmacy may be able to save you time and effort. We can advise on over the counter medicines that can help to alleviate your symptoms and if we feel a trip to the GP or out of hours treatment is necessary, we will tell you so.