November 12, 2015

How Many Pharmacies Do You Need?

After years of complaining about people using multiple pharmacies to prevent tracking of duplicate prescriptions and preventing one pharmacy from having all the information on a patient or family, I come across an article recommending two pharmacies. I admit I have some learning to do. Most of the time people using many pharmacies think they are hiding their narcotic or opiate usage.

Apparently, with the prevalence of mail-order pharmacies and Medicare pushing them and many insurance companies forcing patients to them, there is concern for emergencies.

The author of the Diabetes-in-Control article (article no longer available) does cover an interesting point. He has always recommended that his patients use their local pharmacy for at least one prescription. This is in case an emergency arises and they need a medication or supplies right away, they can get great service locally because they have established a relationship.

This makes good sense as mail order pharmacies are not the most prompt in sending supplies or medications and a four to 10 day wait may not be practical or the most healthy.

Lessons Learned:
  • Recommend that your patients have at least one local pharmacy. If one is a small pharmacy, that’s fine, but also establish a relationship with a national chain. The national chain can be very helpful when traveling.
  • Always discuss the importance of having long- and short-acting insulin available for patients who are on pumps.”

The lessons learned can be important when traveling and an emergency arises. Since I am a person with type 2 diabetes on insulin, I always travel with a sufficient quantity of insulin and use a cooler if necessary to keep extra vials cool enough. Normally for other prescriptions, I can get extra to cover me while traveling and if needed a partial prescription and have the rest filled when I return home.

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