As a pharmacy customer, you must be vigilant to make sure you have the correct prescription drug. Pharmacies are filling record numbers of prescriptions these days. The closing of small mom and pop pharmacies puts more pressure on the large corporations to fill more prescriptions. Even with the safeguards that are in place, it is up to you as a customer to make sure you have the right medication.
Making sure that you are getting the right prescription drug begins with your visit to your healthcare provider. Take a notepad to your appointments. Ask your healthcare provider to fully explain the medication to you and to give you the correct spelling of the medication.
Find out if the prescription is to be dispensed as written or if a generic equivalent is going to be allowed. Ask for the spelling of any generic equivalents that are approved by your doctor or healthcare provider. Some doctors may have samples or a package insert that they can give you. Ask for them. It is impossible for you to have too much information about your medications.
Ask to get paper copies of your prescriptions. Many doctors transmit prescriptions to pharmacies wirelessly. To be sure that you will get the correct prescription drug ask for paper copies of your prescribed medications. Hand carry these to the pharmacy yourself. Look at the paper copy to be sure the doctor wrote for the right drug and frequency. Ask now if you have a question.
Verify your prescription drug again when you drop it off at the pharmacy. Ask the technician to confirm the name of the drug for you. This makes sure that the people who are filling the prescription can read the handwriting of the healthcare provider.
Make sure you have the correct prescription drug when you pick up your medication. Look at the paperwork that is stapled prescription bag. (There is usually a strip of paper or an informative leaflet attached to the bag.) Glance at the paperwork before you pay to make sure the name of the prescription is right. This is the time to speak up if there has been an error.
When you get home, don’t just swallow the medication without making another check. Compare your new prescription bottle with the old one. Make sure the information and medication matches what you are used to taking. If something doesn’t look right, don’t assume that the medicine is right. Call your doctor, healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification immediately. Do not take the medication until you are sure that it is right.
Use these steps to make sure that you have the correct prescription drug. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it. Your health is too valuable to leave to chance.