Something you need to know about Pharmacies in the United States

Pharmacy Store

Pharmacy Store

Something you need to know about pharmacies in the United States. There are over 60,000 pharmacies in the United States of America.

Each of these pharmacies exists primarily to cater to the medical needs of the country’s growing population which does not only consist of Americans but of other nationalities as well.

Tourists who travel to the United States short or long term and immigrants who have chosen to stay in the United States might not be familiar with how pharmacies in the said country function including drug restrictions, regulations and a lot more.

It is therefore important for us to get a closer look at how pharmacies in the United States run.

There are many types of pharmacies in the United States namely community pharmacies or drugstores, hospital pharmacies or pharmacies within a hospital, some clinical pharmacies and online pharmacies or pharmacies where you can purchase drugs and devices on the internet and so on.

What is distinctive about pharmacies in the United States is that unlike other countries where a doctor can dispense medicine, pharmacies are the only establishments which can cater to the pharmaceutical needs of the United States population.

However, the American Medical Association Code of Ethics permit doctors in the United States to dispense and sell drugs to their patients as long as a written prescription is issued which can be used in pharmacies other than that of the issuing physician and as long as the patient is not forced to obtain and buy the medicine from the doctor.

Pharmacies in the United States dispense both Over-the-Counter or OTC and prescription drugs. All OTC drugs are available in most pharmacies in the United States. OTC drugs are drugs which do not require a doctor or a physician’s prescription.

OTC drugs

OTC drugs counter in Walmart

Aside from being available in pharmacies, they are also available for purchase off the shelf in most stores in the United States like Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid etc. Most of the natural ingredient products also can be bought without prescription.

In order for an OTC drug to remain available over-the-counter, it must comply with OTC drug monographs which are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If the OTC drug is compliant to the drug monograph, it will still be made available to the public as an OTC drug but if it no longer does, it undergoes review.

Prescription drugs are drugs that are prescribed by a doctor or a physician. These types of drugs can only be obtained and bought from pharmacies and for the sole use of the individual whose name is written on the prescription form.

If the FDA regulates OTC drugs through drug monographs, the FDA regulates prescription drugs through the New Drug Application (NDA) process. This ensures that the prescription drug is effective and safe for the public to use.

The rising cost of health care has prompted the United States population to avail of health insurance to help chip off a few bucks off the total bill in pharmacies, clinics and hospitals.

If you have health insurance, simply present your card to the pharmacist or if you are purchasing drugs online or thru telephone, provide necessary documents like a scanned copy of your health insurance card (both sides) and/or the ID number of your health insurance card, your group number, your date of birth and so on.

The requirements differ from one pharmacy to another so check with the pharmacy you most frequently buy your prescription drugs from. Aside from health insurance cards, you can also avail of pharmacy discount cards for prescription drugs that are not part of your insurance.

Not everyone is entitled to these pharmacy discount cards though and it is very important for you to review the terms and conditions of these cards.

Eason is colleque of the owner of this webite. He also own a website Natural Health Care Reviews which primary focus on health care tips, natural remedies and reviews.

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