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When I was a fresh faced Pharmacist, only a few months after getting registered, I worked in a small pharmacy in the bottom level of a renovated town house. One day, one of my regulars came in to get a script. When I looked at the script I noticed she’d had it dispensed at a different pharmacy last month. And that I didn’t realise she was taking this medication. When I double checked the doctor’s copy of the script (always under the yellow pharmacist page) I realised the other pharmacy had given her the wrong medication. Thankfully Edna told me she felt fine and after a phone call to her doctor it seemed there would be no long term effects from the switch.

I know people get tired of being told to stick to just one pharmacy. But you wouldn’t see a different doctor every month, would you? I’ve now spent 10 years working as pharmacist and here are my top reasons why you always visit the same pharmacy.

  1. We’re better placed to notice any changes

    Mistakes can happen but we’re more likely to pick up an error for a regular patient. It also means we’re checking the new script you bought from your doctor. I have seen patients given the wrong strength, or an old drug and it’s only because I can see their most recent dispensing that I can pick up on the problem.

  2. We can help if you’re hospitalised

    Bigger pharmacies take daily calls from the hospital asking for a medication history. Sometimes it’s easy. I can quickly tell them what you’re taking and fax them what they need. But if you’ve only come to us once in the last 6 months, it makes it tricky to know what you’re actually taking.

  3. We can collaborate 

    When you visit one pharmacy regularly we have the opportunity to build a relationship with your doctor/s. We can work together with them to improve your medication management and your overall health.

  4. We can help when you get sick 

    When you come into any pharmacy to buy something over the counter we’ll always ask if you take any other medications. If you can’t remember the name of it, we can always look it up on our system – if you’ve been here before.

  5. Less confusing generics 

    Some drugs have more than 10 different generic brands. Which means that if you visit a different pharmacy each month you’ll likely get a different brand nearly every month of the year. If you stay with the same pharmacy you’re more likely to stick with the same one.