We are all busy. Much of the time, when a patient rushes to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, they are distracted, thinking about the next thing they have to do and not actually looking at the medication being handed to them. While incredibly common, this behavior can lead to insurance headaches, ineffective treatment, and even dangerous medical errors. Do your pharmacist, your doctor, and your health a favor the next time you visit the pharmacy and please STOP, READ, and ASK before you leave with your prescription.
Before you even reach for your wallet, please take a moment to look at the prescription label your pharmacist gives you. Is your name correctly written on the label? Is the drug name the one you were expecting to see? Mistakes happen, and it takes less than ten seconds to look at the package and make sure you have the prescription medication you were supposed to receive.
Your dosing instructions will be clearly indicated on the label of your medication. Please do not walk away from the pharmacy counter if you do not understand them. The FDA estimates that about 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors annually in the United States. Keep your family safe by ensuring you understand how to properly use and store your medication .
Too often, patients feel like they are bothering their doctor or pharmacist by asking follow-up questions about their treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to issues as important as side effects or drug interactions. Examples of great questions include:
Finally, all patients should check to make sure they are getting the best price possible for their medication. Before you visit the pharmacy, take a few minutes to use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool to compare pharmacy and prescription prices in your area. To date, FamilyWize has helped over 11 million Americans save more than $1 billion on their prescription drugs, regardless of their insurance coverage.
This post is part of our “Ask an Expert” blog series by Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D, the Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize. Ken brings more than 40 years of healthcare experience to the FamilyWize team, including 14 years of clinical pharmacy experience in retail, hospital, and home care. Read his full bio here .
Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, offering the latest health & wellness news and savings tips, delivered right to your inbox.