Healthcare in this nation can be tricky. But the truth is, when it comes down to it, that everyone deserves and has the basic human right to have access to good healthcare and to a system that does everything in its power to keep everyone healthy. Of course, this is more easily said than done, but there are many aspects and branches within the healthcare system. One vital branch is that which supplies patients with the over the counter medicine and prescriptions that they need to feel better. Pharmacies are often the middle step in a recovery process, following the doctor visit and preceding the home care.
How a pharmacy can meet your medical needs
Sometimes a visit to the pharmacy means filling a prescription for an unbearable cold, stomach bug, flu, or other illnesses. Sometimes you might need to head to the pharmacy for medication that will battle an infection that resulted from an injury. But there are other times that your trip to the pharmacy is not unexpected or unplanned, as you may require medication to manage an ongoing condition. Pharmacists bring two worlds together: health and chemistry. By figuring out how to compound certain dosages and strengths for different ailments, pharmacists can concoct the perfectly tailored medication for each patient, whether you are looking to be back on your feet in a few days or you are taking the necessary steps to function with your chronic condition.
Pharmacies in America
There are about 70% of Americans who take at least one drug that is prescribed by a doctor, and over half are on at least two prescribed medications. That is a lot of people in need of a lot of drugs. There are about 269,900 people in the United States who work as pharmacists, and the industry, as one might imagine, is huge. Total sales in drug stores and pharmacies across the U.S. add up to about $251.73 billion every year. It can be a lucrative business, but not everyone who gets into the field is worried about money. Many people who work in compounding medications in and for pharmacies are hoping to make a difference in someone’s life. They want to see people healthy and happy. And depending on just what your prescription needs are, you could find yourself faced with a few different options, and you should weigh those options so that you are going to a pharmacy that allows you to feel comfortable and assured that you are getting what you need.
Retail and independent pharmacies
At 54%, just over half of all prescriptions are filled at pharmacies that are considered to be retail or chain pharmacies. These are the big name places that are in major stores or whose main function is as a pharmacy but also doubles as a place to get other essentials. But independent pharmacies are good too. These are the smaller pharmacies, the local corner shops that can sometimes devote a bit more time to individual customers and offer more of a personal and connected interaction. While you should be able to get your prescription filled anywhere, be it retail or independent, there is something to be said for finding the one that fits you best. Different people have different preferences or priorities. For some the wait time needs to be absolutely minimal, and for others maybe they need that personal connection. The bottom line is that you get the medication that you need in order to feel your best.
There are those who argue that healthcare can be improved, and to be sure, there are always steps to be taken to strive toward a better system. But at least we can rest assured that there are pharmacists who work hard to get the right prescriptions out to patients and customers in a timely fashion.