7 pharmacy services you didn’t know existed

Health brochures and blood pressure machines have long been staples at independent dispensaries and the bigger chains across Canada, from Lawtons to Rexall to Shoppers Drug Mart, but you may be surprised at what else they now offer

7 pharmacy services you didn't know existed

Source: Best Health Magazine, September 2008

1. Bilingual labels

I.D.A., Guardian, Rexall, Rexall Pharma Plus and select Medicine Shoppe pharmacies can print prescription labels in any of 12 languages, from Vietnamese to Inuktitut.

2. Yummy flavours and smart packaging

For a small fee, Jean Coutu, Rexall, Rexall Pharma Plus and select Guardian and I.D.A. pharmacies will use Flavor Rx to enhance medication with cherry, pineapple or vanilla-chocolate flavours, while some Guardian, I.D.A and Medicine Shoppe pharmacies compound medication into lollipop treats for children or into a cream for the family pooch. Or, for a small sum, get your pharmacist to pack pills in a blister card with compartments grouped by day and time.

3. Virtual reminders

Receive medication refill alerts from eFill Reminder, a Rexall program that also allows you to reorder the prescription virtually. Shoppers Drug Mart Med Ready also allows you to refill prescriptions online, as does Lawtons.

4. Nurses and health education

Jean Coutu is testing a pilot project called I.D.E.A.L. in a dozen Quebec drugstores, where registered nurses work alongside pharmacists to improve patient follow-up. Meanwhile, other drugstores, including Lawtons and Shoppers Drug Mart, have certified diabetes educators on staff to help patients manage their condition. London Drugs provide training on glucose meters when they’re purchased (certified diabetes educators are also available at select locations).

5. Customized records

Shoppers Drug Mart’s HealthWatch system records and prints all your prescriptions and possible interactions for you, while Jean Coutu offers PJC Health Record, a summary of your meds and any drug allergies on a convenient wallet-size card.

6. Online stores and free delivery

Register with mail-order pharmacy Meditrust—a sister company to Rexall—for free courier delivery of both prescription and over-the-counter medications and vitamins to anywhere that Canada Post goes. Refills can be ordered online, through automatic telephone service or via email—consulting pharmacists are available 24 hours a day (this works with most corporate and provincial health plans). Rexall, Rexall Pharma Plus and select Guardian and I.D.A. pharmacies offer free prescription delivery, as does Jean Coutu.

7. Safe disposal

Rexall and Rexall Pharma Plus, as well as many other pharmacies including Guardian, I.D.A and Medicine Shoppe, will safely dispose of meds that are no longer needed or expired, while many, including London Drugs, have a needle disposal program for items such as hypodermic insulin needles.

This article was originally titled "7 pharmacy services (you didn’t know existed)," in the September 2008 issue of Best Health Magazine. Subscribe today and never miss an issue!