People in the United States spend a lot of money each year on medications. In 2014, there were 4.3 billion prescriptions filled around the country. These prescriptions cost almost $374 billion. When we need to get a prescription medication or an over the counter medicine, we have a lot of options for where to to. Large, retail pharmacies have sprung up in every part of the country. You can walk into any one of these and get everything from your medication to groceries and supplies for your car. There are drawbacks to shopping at these stores. This is one reason many people look to independent pharmacies to improve their health. Here are some reasons to consider getting prescriptions filled at local pharmacies rather than national chains.
1. When you buy from local stores, you help the local economy.
This can be said of all services and products that you need. When you shop at local stores, you put money back into the local economy. When you get your prescriptions filled at the local pharmacy, you help create jobs for local pharmacy techs, pharmacists and all of the support staff that work in pharmacies. When you shop at a national chain, at least some of the money you spend goes to a national headquarters that is located outside of your community. When you shop at the local store, more of the money you spend will remain in your community.
2. You get a small town experience.
When you shop at a local pharmacy, or the local grocery store, you get a more personal experience. The people are more friendly. When you have your prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy, you get the chance to develop a personal relationship with the staff. They get to know you and you get to know them. These personal relationships can make the experience of taking care of your health more pleasant. You are more than just a number or an invoice to the people who work at the local pharmacy.
3. The lines are shorter at the local pharmacy.
When you go to a chain pharmacy, there is often a line at the check out counter. When you get your prescriptions filled at the independent pharmacy, there is a better chance that your medicine will be ready when you get to the pharmacy. Then, you do not have to wait in a long line. The people who help you are happy to do so and are much less rude than the people you find at large chain stores. A lot of the wait times are due to the fact that you can buy so many things at the retail pharmacy. This can be great if you need cat litter but if you are not feeling well, you may want to get in and out of the pharmacy as quickly as you can.
4. You can get better service from the pharmacist.
When you have the time to develop a good relationship with the pharmacist, you can get better health care and make better decisions about your health care. If you have to take more than one medication, there is always a chance that the medications you take will interact with each other and cause unwanted side effects. When you can work with your pharmacist, they can make sure you are not taking medications that interfere with each other. They can also answer your questions about any interactions with over the counter medications or supplements.
5. Independent pharmacies may have over the counter medications that are not carried by chain stores.
While retail pharmacies do carry a lot of products, they may not have all of the over the counter products that you may want or need. If there are specialty products that you need to stay healthy, if the local pharmacy does not carry it, you can talk to the pharmacist or the owner (sometimes that is the same person) about getting it. The local pharmacy has a lot more say in what they carry than the retail store, which may have to get approval from their headquarters.
You get better health help when you shop at a local pharmacy for your medication needs.