How To Make The Most Of Your Local Pharmacist

(NC) -- There was a time when the family doctor's office was the only place Canadians could go for health care and advice. With the ever-growing demands on our health care system, there has been a move to increase the capacity of all health care professionals to increase accessibility to primary care. Pharmacists have emerged as part of the solution. In fact, a recent poll of family physicians found almost half (44 per cent) agreed expanding pharmacists' scope of care could help reduce wait times in their office.

The challenge now becomes making sure Canadians are aware of the many services pharmacists now provide. According to a recent poll commissioned by Shoppers Drug Mart, almost half of Canadians (48 per cent) were unaware pharmacists provide health services in addition to filling prescriptions.

With this in mind, below are just a few of the services people may not be aware pharmacists can provide in many provinces.

Managing medications – Pharmacists are medication experts and a key resource on both over-the-counter and prescription medications. They can provide medication organizers that help ensure drugs are taking at the correct time. They also offer medication reviews – a one-on-one meeting to help individuals understand how to safely and effectively use all their medications. Medication reviews allow pharmacists to identify potential conflicts and address them by recommending a dosing change, a change of drug, or even a change in the way a medication is taken.

Administering vaccinations – As more and more provinces empower pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations, Canadians have increasingly come to rely on them for this important service. However, pharmacists in many regions can administer other preventative immunizations, including most travel vaccinations.

Counselling on more than prescriptions – Pharmacists can help you select vitamins and over the-counter products that are right for you. Pharmacists can also give health and lifestyle advice on managing common chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes. And, they are able to provide counsel on the prevention and treatment of minor ailments – everything from seasonal allergies to bug bites to head lice.

Over and above these services, pharmacists are also available without an appointment and have flexible hours, making them more accessible than many other health care providers. For more information on what pharmacy services are available to you, drop by your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy or visit


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