11 Things You Didn’t Know Your Local Pharmacy Does

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Wellness programs, vaccinations, free delivery and maybe even free medication – all sorts of bonuses could be yours for the asking.

Think pharmacies are only about antibiotics and condoms? Think again.

You can get vaccinations, blood pressure readings, specially packaged medications and many other perks. In some cities you can even see a doctor in the drugstore. How convenient is that if it turns out you need a prescription?

In the video below, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson reveals other pharmacy perks. See what he has to say and then keep reading for more useful tips.

Here’s an all-too-typical scenario: Your child wakes up Saturday with a sore throat and fever. The family doctor doesn’t work on weekends. Can you get Junior to a doctor?

You probably can if you live in a city with …

1. Walk-in clinics at the drugstore

Some pharmacies offer non-urgent care through setups like MinuteClinic or Take Care Health Services. Such clinics tend to operate seven days a week, which is great for illnesses and minor mishaps that happen on a Saturday or Sunday. As noted, you can’t beat the convenience factor if you need to fill a prescription.

When flu season rolls around or when you want some other kind of vaccination, do you need to pay for a doctor’s appointment just to get a shot? Maybe not, since many pharmacies offer …

2. Flu shots and vaccinations

Pharmacies routinely offer flu vaccines and will probably accept your insurance. Some offer other types of vaccinations, both for kids (e.g., chickenpox, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, measles/mumps/rubella) and adults (e.g., shingles or hepatitis B).

Wellness, not just pills

So you got the flu vaccination and by 10 p.m. you feel sort of achy and noticed a slight redness around the shot site. Or maybe you have a question about those new meds the doctor prescribed. Should you fret and worry all night long? Not if your pharmacy has …

3. A live chat service, 24/7

Many drugstores offer night-and-day access to a pharmacist. This free service can help set your mind at ease or answer any questions you may have.

But that’s not the only help a pharmacy can give. Major chains are emphasizing …

4. Wellness programs

Want to quit smoking, lose weight, monitor your blood pressure, learn how to self-manage your diabetes? Programs such as Wellness Rewards (Walgreens), Wellness Services (Kroger) and Wellness+ (Rite Aid) can help. Services like cholesterol or blood sugar tests will cost you some cash, but others are free for the asking.

Having trouble reading the fine print, even with your bifocals? Concerned that an elderly relative can’t keep pill regimens organized? Some stores now offer …

5. Personalized packaging

You can request larger-print labels for those with vision issues. Childproof caps are available, of course, to keep a toddler from treating your pill bottle like a Pez dispenser. And, as Stacy notes, some pharmacies use services like Care-Fill to put together individualized packets of pills to make things easier for consumers.

And if your child finds a cough syrup or liquid allergy medication really yucky, ask about …

6. Flavored meds

A spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. Whether it’s watermelon or cherry, bubble gum or sour apple, banana or raspberry, a dash of flavoring will make it easier to get medication into your child’s stomach.

More grown-up flavors, such as anise, licorice or crème de menthe, are available for adults who take liquid medications. This service is routinely offered free of charge.

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