Why do people use multiple pharmacies?
There are numerous reasons why people use more than one pharmacy. Having access to multiple pharmacies can help people save money on prescriptions (either out of pocket or through insurance) make picking up their medication more convenient, or even give them the option of extended pharmacy hours when needed.
Although people may see some benefits in using multiple pharmacies, the risks should be discussed with their primary care physician. This article will highlight just two of the risks involved with using more than one pharmacy and a tip for managing this process if required.
Unknown drug interactions
Pharmacies often do not communicate with one another, creating a lack of insight into any other medications you may be taking. If you are prescribed multiple medications by different physicians, there could be dangerous interactions taking certain medicines at the same time.
Issues with medication management
Using multiple pharmacies also can lead to confusion in when and where medications need to be refilled. Some pharmacies may offer free delivery, while others require to pick up. Filling two or more prescriptions at different locations can make managing logistics an overwhelming task. Growing confusion in medication management can lead to missing refills on essential prescriptions, causing increased health risks.
How to manage multiple pharmacies
If using multiple pharmacies is a must, aim to have open communication with each pharmacy so they understand the breadth of medications being taken. Communicating medication lists with core pharmacies, as well as any over-the-counter (OTC) medications you are taking, is an important and easy way to ensure there are no major drug interactions between the medications prescribed. As always, keeping primary care physicians informed is essential in mitigating additional risks.