In Western medicine, medication is a critical part of treating a wide variety of health problems. Lifestyle modifications can certainly enhance your health and help manage some conditions, but sometimes you need more. Having a convenient and familiar pharmacy to fill your medications and provide advice is a welcome addition to any medical practice.
At Lake Family Medicine & Imaging, Dr. Raj Kandavanam offers onsite pharmacy services for his patients. The practice stocks many common prescription medications, and they’re dispensed by a licensed medical professional. Here’s why this type of setup is beneficial to both the practice and to you.
What Kinds of Medications Are Available at Onsite Pharmacies?
Each practice’s pharmacy carries medications tailored to its specialty. As a general medical practice, Lake Family Medicine & Imaging carries the most commonly prescribed medications overall, including:
- Statins (for cholesterol)
- ACE inhibitors (for blood pressure)
- Calcium-channel blockers (for blood pressure)
- Proton pump inhibitors (for reflux)
- Short-acting beta-agonists (for asthma)
- Synthetic thyroid hormones
- Insulin (for diabetes)
- Biguanides (reduces glucose production, for diabetics)
- Corticosteroids (for inflammation)
We don’t carry any controlled substances, however. While Dr. Kandavanam can prescribe medications such as phentermine (for weight loss), narcotics, and amphetamines (for ADHD), you have to go to an outside pharmacy to fill them.
Benefits of an Onsite Pharmacy
Having an onsite pharmacy allows patients immediate access to their prescribed medication, which provides an important opportunity for the doctor and patient to interact about the proposed course of treatment. Such interactions include:
- The doctor can explain why he’s prescribing the medication and what the patient can expect while taking it
- The doctor can allay any potential fears the patient may have about the medication
- The patient can ask questions about the medication before they leave the office, both with the doctor and with the pharmacist, making them more likely to take it
- The doctor can monitor compliance and respond if there’s a need
Compliance is a huge issue for doctors and patients. According to a review in Annals of Internal Medicine, studies indicate that 20-30% of prescriptions are never filled and that almost 50% of prescriptions for chronic disease medications aren’t taken as prescribed. In addition, those who do take their medication — whether for a simple infection or a life-threatening condition — usually take only about half the prescribed doses.
When the pharmacy is onsite, the doctor can see the patient leave with the medication, and he can see from the records whether the patient refilled the prescription at the appropriate time or not. If not, he can follow up with the patient to learn why not, while at the same time stressing the need for following the guidelines.
On the flip side, when a patient is able to ask questions about the medication and its use before filling the prescription, it usually leads to a better understanding of the need to take it, better compliance, and better overall patient care.
If you have questions about your prescription medications, we want to hear about them. Give Lake Family Medicine & Imaging a call at 407-232-7655, or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Kandavanam today.