Beware your local pharmacy

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When you go to your local pharmacy it is designed to feel like a safe and comfortable environment. It often feels like you are visiting your guardian angel who is there to give you the best advice and information. In reality, pharmacies are businesses like any other and you need to be smart when making purchases and even refilling your prescription.

Pharmacies are not equal

Today most pharmacies look exactly alike. I always choose my pharmacy based on proximity. If it is close it easy. After all, they are all pretty much the same, right? This is very wrong. Pharmacies can charge totally different prices and while they are aligned on many items it still pays to shop around and sure you are getting your medication or other items at the lowest possible price. 

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Beware the prescription

When you receive a prescription your pharmacist will often give you the drugs indicated without much discussion. While many are following the doctor’s recommendations, others know better but are keeping quiet. Some pharmacists are not allowed to recommend cheaper medicinal alternatives and so continue to provide you with the expensive version. Imagine you are in your local supermarket. While you may want to drink Coca Cola instead of your store brand coke when it comes to tin foil you are happy with the store brand version. The same is true of drugs. Pharmacists are experts in what drugs have now being released in a lower price version and will be able to offer advice if you ask. In many cases, they are not allowed to suggest alternatives unless you ask. Ensure you ask.

The key to pharmacy shopping whether for prescriptions or any other item is to be aware that you are stepping into a business. In any business, they generally care about their customer but also about making a profit. Do your homework on what you buy to ensure you are paying the smart price.

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