Drug Store Surprises
We all know you can get your prescription filled and maybe even see a nurse practitioner at a drugstore but there's more you can get in this store.
Ellen, who is nine months pregnant, promised her doctor she'd get a flu shot before her next appointment - which just so happens to be tomorrow! With extended night and weekend hours, she decided to go to Walgreens.
"Just popped over during lunch, I kind of knew I could get in and out real quick and not have to wait in a waiting room," she said.
"We provide your everyday healthcare needs," said family nurse practitioner Shawn Coleman. "Respiratory illnesses, bladder infections, cold and flu, we also do sports physicals and preventative care."
Over the last few years, many drug-stores have really turned into a one-stop-shop filling much more than just your daily or last-minute needs.
"We have everything from hepatitis to meningitis, pneumonia; we even have travel vaccines," said Ryan Wagner, Pharmacy Manager.
"Walgreens has the prescription savings club, it's available to customers, we have over thousands of medications both brand and generic that are covered on the plan, but that deep discount you're talking about, we have 400 medications in that club that's less than $1 a week," Ryan said.
What's quicker than the drive through? Your smart phone of course! You can refill prescriptions with one click.
For those too sick to go into the store, some drugstores even offer home services.
"I feel like a lot of the times you can get the same questions answered by your pharmacist that you can by your doctor, especially with being pregnant and stuff - 'Can I take this?,' 'What do you recommend for the that?', 'Can I put these two things together when I am sick or do need things filled?' It's very helpful," said patient Ellen.
"We can talk about over-the-counter medications, if you just had a question about symptoms that you had for a cold, your pharmacist is the person to go to, that expert that's going to recommend something and even determine if you do have to go to the doctor," Ryan said.
Don't forget to ask about low-cost or free diagnostic tests and screenings, often-times drugstore chains will offer them during special store events, for example this store was highlighting free blood pressure screenings.
"We are not taking place of the primary care provider, we are assisting patients with an access point to healthcare," Shawn said.
And don't forget about the savings you can get by shopping private labels, oftentimes you can save 30% or more from than the national average.
So, on your next trip to the drug-store, don't forget to ask what's offered, you just may be surprised by what's inside!
"I can get my flu shot, pick up a few things that I need, then get back to work before lunch is over," Ellen said.