Why does the pharmacist or pharmacy technician ask several questions when I come to fill a new prescription or open a file? (Examples of questions: Do you have any allergies? Are you taking any other medications? Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? etc.)
- We ask you these questions to make sure that all of your medications (new or ones you’re already taking) meet your needs and are safe for you.
But didn’t my doctor already check that? Why does the pharmacist have to consider these things too?
- The job of the pharmacist is to serve the right medication to the right person for the right reasons and under the right conditions. Medications are not harmless. They can better your health when used right but can harm it when used wrong.
- Pharmacists are the medication experts. They’re the ones responsible for assessing and filling your prescriptions.
What are the questions the pharmacist asks himself when analyzing my prescription?
In order to determine if the treatment meets your needs:
Is it the right treatment for your condition?
Is it the best option for you?
Is the dose appropriate?
In order to determine if the treatment is safe for you:
Are there any contraindications or precautions to consider?
Is the treatment compatible with your other medications?
Is there a risk of side effects or an allergic reaction?
What does the pharmacist do when he notices a problem with my prescription?
Quite often, pharmacists have to communicate with your doctor to verify some things or make adjustments.
They try as much as possible to keep you aware of what’s going on. But, if you feel like the wait is too long, don’t hesitate to come to them and ask them if there’s any problem. They’ll be glad to answer you.
When everything is ready, can people just pay and leave?
If the treatment is new for you, pharmacists have to explain it to you. You need to know if there are any possible side effects. If so, they’ll tell you how to manage them. Each treatment needs to be personalized for each person. They’ll discuss with you the best way and the best moment for you to take the medication…and that being said they’ll try to adapt everything according to your situation!
After all the explanations, is the pharmacist’s work done?
When patients are open, pharmacists call them for follow-ups if necessary. They’ll want to make sure that your treatment is effective and well-tolerated. Also, they stay available to you whenever you have questions or problems.
Next month, what should I do so I don’t have to wait for my refill?
I recommend you to order in advance online or by phone. If you do so, your refill will be ready when you arrive at the pharmacy. However, give us at least two hours to prepare it after you put in your order.
I hope you understand now what pharmacists do behind their counter!
As pharmacists, we do our best to serve all of our patients well and make their health a priority!
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Reference / For more information: Comic strip about the role of the pharmacist – Ordre des Pharmaciens du Québec in partnership with le Pharmachien