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A Pharmacy Technicians Guide To Getting The Gluten-Free Brand Medicine You Need.

4 posts in this topic

The following was written for you by a pharmacy technician who recently escaped from their retail chain job but remembers it all too well:


I would like to help you out with a best-practices guide on getting what you need from an understaffed, busy pharmacy.  I am also on a ton of medications and have a lot of experience doing all of this for myself, but you guys don't have friends behind the counter that will drop what they are doing to help you. See the last section if you want that.  


So, you take a prescription to the pharmacy for a medication that is available in generic form.  If it is brand name only, hopefully you asked your doctor if there is a generic alternative before you left with a script, but sometimes the name brand is the best for you or only thing available, and you have less options if it is not free of your allergen.


Your pharmacy will fill it with whatever manufacturer they keep on hand, which sometimes changes because they are always looking at prices, supply/demand, and other complicated things.  If your research/experience deems this brand to be not-okay, there are usually a lot of different generic brands for each med.  Some things will affect the availability of a drug and there may only be 1 or 2 companies who make it, but 2 options are better than one when one is no good :)


The easiest way for you to get results are:


1. Call the pharmacy at a less-busy time like mid afternoon, or go in in person and talk to them (Not in the drive through) when they aren't busy.  If your medicine is a controlled substance you may want to bring something saying you have an allergy, they may not be keen on talking to you about what brands of hydrocodone they carry for safety reasons.


2. Talk to the pharmacist, let them know you found out about an allergen in this generic brand, and ask for them to get the person who does the ordering to get you a list of equivalent medication that they can order from their supplier.  They may need to call you back but this should be very easily accessible for them as electronic ordering is all there is nowadays. (that way you don't bother with something not available in your area, etc.)


3. Get that list and look the meds up, hopefully one is allergen free verifiable


4. Ask the pharmacy to fill the RX with that "NDC" only.  An NDC is a unique number for that manufacturer-made drug. Tell them to put a note in your electronic profile and a note on the shelf where they keep the product to prevent this from being overlooked.


5. The pharmacy may screw up and fill with their preferred brand sometimes on refills and such still, because the computers like to auto-substitute with their preferred brand, so physically check the med before you leave and have them fix it if needed.


6. I just have to add... Always be nice to your pharmacy staff, and don't treat the pharmacy and its drive-thru like a fast food place.  These people do more than just count pills, they have a legal responsibility to not kill you.  If you have special needs, you are more likely to get good service at an independent pharmacy, but sometimes you are like me and your insurance makes you go to a specific chain.  *grumpyface*  Also, if you are at your pharmacy a lot, bringing the staff treats and being super nice to them will probably get you preferential treatment when you walk up to the counter.  Okay, I will admit my friends at -retail chain- told me to add that part.  But it is all true! :)



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That's a lot of good advice.  Thanks!


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Great post, thank you!


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My experience I have had with this is just ask for the ingredients list, package insert. They will always give it to me, I read it and give it back.. Each drug should have one taped/stuck to the outside of the bottle.


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