I sat in a dingy pharmacy near the Seattle airport over the holidays, waiting for an emergency prescription. For over two hours I watched a slow-moving line of people sign a book, pay and receive their prescription(s). The cashier told each customer picking up more than one prescription or a child’s prescription to wait on the side. In minutes, the harried white-haired pharmacist came over to ask the person if they were familiar with these medications, described how to take them, identified the side effects to look out for and demonstrated the size of a teaspoon for pediatric medications. Then he asked the person to repeat back – often in broken, heavily accented English – what he or she had heard and patiently went over the parts they didn’t understand.
I was impressed. This is what every pharmacy should be like – except, of course, for the dinginess, the creeping line and the fact that it was so crowded I could overhear these conversations. Maybe if we got federal legislation enacted requiring pharmacists to offer counseling with each prescription filled, this kind of attention would be the norm, adherence to medication regimens would improve and drug-related injuries would be reduced.
Wait a minute. Someone already had that good idea. It was Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*