You see them everywhere. Large chain pharmacies that sell everything from food to items for auto repair. That is good for some things but there are some great reasons you should have your prescriptions filled at the locally owned pharmacy.
- Your wait time will be shorter. In 2014, the magazine “Consumer Reports” looked at wait times at local and national pharmacies around the United States. They found that at least 21% of customers who went to a chain pharmacy experienced a long wait at the check out counter. At least 19% reported that their prescription was not ready when it was supposed to be. They reported that 7% of customers at locally owned pharmacies experienced the same thing. There are a lot of reasons for this but at the end of the day, if you do not want to wait a long time for your prescription to be filled, the local pharmacy is the place to go.
- Local pharmacies offer more services. Sure you can buy a host of items from cosmetics to groceries at the larger chain pharmacies but the actual number of services they offer is limited. The local pharmacy may offer services such as patient charge accounts, durable medical products, vaccinations, compounding and prescription delivery. Large chain pharmacies make their money through volume. The local pharmacy can take the time to provide more comprehensive services. You matter more to the local pharmacy than to the chain.
- They can provide care and attention that is personalized to you. The number of full time pharmacists that work in locally owned pharmacies is 2.8. They also have an average of 3.3 technicians who work at the pharmacy full time. These employment numbers come form the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). This number of staff means they can offer you services that are personalized to your health needs. You can develop a relationship with your pharmacist, which is something you cannot really do when you go to large chain pharmacies.
- The customer service you get at an independent pharmacy is much better. People who shop at independent pharmacies can develop a good relationship with the pharmacist. Often, people who get their prescriptions filled with the independent pharmacy get to know the owner. This is important when dealing with health issues. People who see multiple doctors for all of their health care may get prescriptions from each. While it is ideal for a primary care doctor to oversee all of that and work to make sure none of the medications they take interfere with each other, this does not always happen the way it should. Therefore, it falls to the pharmacist to make sure these interactions do not happen. When you get to know the pharmacist, they can work with you to keep you healthy and make sure problems do not arise due to the medicines you are taking. If you have questions or concerns about your health or the medications you are taking, the local pharmacy will be able to take the time to answer them.
- They can be more flexible. When you go to a chain pharmacy, they have a bureaucracy in place that they have to deal with. That may impact when you can get prescriptions filled and how often. This can also impact the services they provide. Independent pharmacies have some leeway in how they do things. They do not have to adhere to corporate policies. They do not have a central office they need to answer to. That also means they can spend more time talking to you about your concerns.
- Independent pharmacists are accurate. The accuracy of the work done by independent pharmacists is much higher than that in chain pharmacies. This is one of the reasons so many people are happy with the service they get when they go to independent and locally owned pharmacies rather than the large national chains. Increased accuracy translates into increased patient safety. Getting the wrong medication can cause a host of health problems and can even be deadly. When you go to a locally owned pharmacy, you should have a better level of trust with the prescriptions you receive.
You have many choices when it comes to pharmacies but you should consider your locally owned establishment.