How to Choose a Pharmacist

Taking drugs for a treatment must be taken as seriously as consulting a physician for a diagnosis. Pills are so small that some people underestimate the power of their effect in our body. The healthcare professionals that are preparing our medications are very important because we rely on them to dispense them correctly. Here are some tips on how to select your pharmacist.


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    Check the appearance of the pharmacy. Does the pharmacy look clean and neat? This is from your own judgement, if you see that the over-the-counter medications on the shelves look messy, the price tags are wrongly placed, you’ll have a hard time finding what you need, you may have reservations about the establishment. Take a glimpse inside the laboratory where medications are compounded (if your pharmacist does this) and see if it is neat, well-organised, and clean. If you step in a restaurant that has dirty dishes and utensils, unclean tables and disorganized chairs, you can imagine how the kitchen looks like, and the food that comes out from it. Please take precautions.
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    Note the professionalism (or lack of it) of the staff. A pharmacy, depending on the size, may have many departments, and there are good and bad people everywhere. Don’t judge the whole company by just one incompetent employee. It can be someone that had a bad day and gave you a poor customer service when you asked him which aisle the toothpaste was. Please read the following description with your own judgement:-
    • Inappropriate outfit, hairstyles, makeup or other bodily expressions:If these are obviously displayed, it might be a consideration.
    • Inappropriate behavior:E.g.: chewing gum when talking, inattentive, not looking you in the eyes, runs around the laboratory, gossips out loud. Keep in mind, an unprofessional technician is prone to make mistakes, which means entering the wrong medications with the wrong dosage, preparing the wrong medication at the wrong quantity and maybe for the wrong patient, or even a chain of mistakes. The pharmacists trusts and relies on his assistant, he’s not a genius that can detect all mistakes, he is a human too. You are handing your prescription to someone you judge professional, in which you trust. But the expression that says : “Don’t stereotype until you get to know the person.” Must be used wisely when you’re dealing with your own health and life. You can choose to trust your instincts in exceptional situations. Just like a restaurant and it’s staff that give off a certain vibe that attracts a certain type of clientele, choosing a pharmacy is not a joke.
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    Observe the pharmacist’s behavior and content of speech. The most important is what the pharmacist tells you. Poor customer service is a different issue, the point here is really the way he talks to you and the content of his speech.
    • Does he seem in a hurry and talks to you too fast?
    • Is he attentive when he talks to you?
    • Is he multitasking when talking to you? Is he receptive? Does he understand and answer your questions?
    • Does he become annoyed when you’re asking questions or when you ask him to repeat what he just said because you didn’t understand?
    • Is he pushy and only wants you to pay and get rid of you as soon as possible?
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    Listen to the actual content of his speech:
    • Does he explain to you how to follow the dosage (take the right medication, how many times a day, for how many days, with or without food, the side effects etc…) ?
    • Does what he say make sense to you? Do you understand what he says? If not, is it because he doesn’t explain to you properly or it simply doesn’t make sense?
    • Does he contradict himself? Can he answer all your questions? If not, does he actively look for an answer or refer you to another resource or does he just ignore and leave your questions unanswered? #*Does he seem sure about what he's telling you when he talks to you?If the behavior and the content of his speech were suspicious, you always have the right to contact your doctor, or get your prescription back to get it filled in another pharmacy.
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    Find out if the pharmacy deals with your insurance provider, and how they bill, including the difference in prices for name brand verses generic medications.
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    Ask if the pharmacy has a database to track your medications to make sure no unexpected drug interactions will occur that can put your health at risk.
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    Check to make sure detailed purchase histories are maintained at the pharmacy if you are going to form a long-term relationship with them. This will make it easier for you to track expenses for tax purposes as well as making it easier to get refills for medications that are taken long term.
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    Make sure the pharmacy accepts phone-in prescriptions from your doctor's office. This will make refilling or getting emergency medications much easier and quicker in some circumstances.


  • Try to establish and maintain a relationship with your pharmacist, it will be beneficial over time, since your records, prescriptions, and other information will be easier to access if the need arises.
  • Price is a very important part of choosing any service provider, but quality, in regard to health care, should also be considered.


  • Be careful! Once you paid for the medications and that they have left the store, the pharmacy has the right not to take the medications back and not refund you for safety reasons. Therefore, you cannot take your prescription back.

Things You'll Need

  • A notebook for comparing different pharmacies if you choose to.
  • Your medical information including prescriptions and insurance documents.

Article Info

Categories: Health Care | Taking Pills and Medicine