Neighborhood Pharmacy Can Help with Breast Cancer Medication Costs
Your neighborhood pharmacy is the underdog. They are competing with the top national pharmacies in the country. Getting to know your neighborhood pharmacist is a great idea if you take prescription medications regularly. After breast cancer surgery, you will have a number of prescriptions to fill. If your treatment includes taking hormone therapy pills, you will have to refill your prescription for the next five years.
I stopped using big name pharmacies a long time ago, before I breast cancer took over my life. While well-known pharmacies are everywhere, I prefer to go to the family-owned pharmacy in my neighborhood. Read on for the top 3 reasons to give your neighborhood’s family-owned pharmacy a try.
#1 – Your neighborhood pharmacy has a personal touch and compassion
There is something special about business owners who know their customers on a personal basis. Whether they recognize your voice over the phone or greet you by name when you enter the store, it feels good.
I remember getting my first prescription of Tamoxifen filled at my neighborhood pharmacy. The head pharmacist was very concerned because he knew the drug was for breast cancer treatment. He told me how sorry he was that I was going through surgery and treatment. He also told me that his sister was also undergoing breast cancer treatment. Whenever I pick up my refills, he always makes sure to ask how I am feeling.
Over the past two years, the pharmacists have been able to recommend over-the-counter or herbal medicines to help me with side effects. For example, they recommended Melatonin as I was having sleep issues. Because they all knew that I wasn’t a fan of taking pills (I tend to gag a lot), they ordered liquid Melatonin just for me!
When you become a regular customer at your local pharmacy, your pharmacist can prepare your medicines when they know you are due for a refill. They will also work with your insurance company if you are having issues filling a prescription. They will also be very familiar with your prescriptions and can help you avoid dangerous drug interactions.
#2 – Your neighborhood pharmacy may offer discounts
I am fortunate that I have very good health insurance and I pay little out of pocket for my cancer treatment pills. But if you are having trouble paying for your medicine, your neighborhood pharmacy may take the extra steps to help you out. My son has severe eczema flareups and prescription creams for his skin are very expensive. My pharmacist will try his best to find a coupon and I never pay full price. Your local pharmacist may also apply discounts at his own discretion.
Years ago, I stood in line behind an older woman at a grocery store pharmacy. Her medicine was around $80 and she was upset because she could not afford it. She told the pharmacist that she wouldn’t be able to pay for her groceries if she paid for the prescription. The pharmacist apologized and call out “Next”. I was young at the time and did not have the money to help her.
Since then, I have learned that sometimes your neighborhood pharmacy will cut you a break. I have witnessed my pharmacy make numerous calls to insurance companies and dig deep for prescription discount coupons. I have also witnessed an insurance company deny coverage and the pharmacist give the medication for free.
I don’t know how much money the pharmacy loses. But it seems that small family owned pharmacies are more likely to take a loss than large, nationally known pharmacies.
#3 – Your neighborhood pharmacy is a small business in need of your support
Small businesses in your neighborhood thrive and survive because of You. And because they depend on You, they are more likely to provide the best service possible. Research shows that local businesses are more likely to spend money in the community, which will help your community prosper.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. Don’t be afraid to get to know your neighborhood pharmacist; you’ll be surprised at how much they are willing to help!
Do you have a favorite pharmacy? Share with us!