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What is the role of a Pharmacist?

What is the role of a Pharmacy Technician?

Prescription Information:

What is a controlled medicine?

Generic vs. Brand

How much does my insurance cover?

What are OTC medicines?

Complementary/Herbal medicines

Safe use of medicines

Disposal of medication

I am a visitor to the Island and I have forgotten my medication

I am a visitor to the Island and I have a prescription written by my doctor

 


 

 

What is the role of a Pharmacist?

  • The medicines experts in your healthcare team. Research shows that Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals.
  • Beyond the traditional compounding and dispensing, pharmacists act in a professional advisory and primary healthcare role
  • Pharmacists are ready and willing to share their knowledge concerning:
    • Optimal drug therapy for patients with a focus on drug interactions and potential side effects
    • The treatment of various medical conditions
    • Education and promotion of preventative and primary healthcare
    • Where to get emergency care
  • Pharmacists act to improve your health and that of your family and wider community

 

What is the role of a Pharmacy Technician?

  • Manage areas of medicines supply such as dispensaries
  • Under the supervision of a pharmacist:
    • Supply medicines to patients whether on prescription or over the counter
    • Assembles medicines for prescriptions
    • Provide information to patients and other healthcare providers

 

Prescription Information:

  • A prescription must have the following
    • Your name and date of birth
    • The name of the medication
    • Dosage or number of tablets
    • How often you should take the medication
    • How many tablets the doctor would like you to have or how long they would like you to take the medication
    • Refills if any
    • The doctor name and address
    • The doctors signature and the date they wrote it
  • It should be written clearly so the pharmacist can read it
  • If you have a prescription from a doctor overseas it can be filled if it is countersigned by a doctor in Bermuda
  • The transfer of prescriptions between pharmacies is allowed but it is advised that you use one pharmacy for all your prescriptions as they are better able to detect potential interactions between your medications and provide a personalized service.
  • All prescriptions expire one year after it was written with the exception of controlled medication prescriptions which expire after 13 weeks.

 

What is a controlled medicine?

  • Controlled medicines are listed in the Misuse of Drugs act.
  • Stricter controls are applied to these medications to prevent them from being misused, being obtained illegally or causing harm.
  • Controlled medicines are classified based on their benefit when used for medical purposes and the harm they may cause if misused.
  • This includes but is not restricted to narcotics such as morphine or oxycodone.
  • Your pharmacist may ask for you drivers license or other photo identification when you collect a controlled medicine.
  • The legislation does not allow for refills on prescriptions for controlled prescriptions
  • Controlled drug prescriptions are only valid for 13 weeks after the day in was written

 

Generic vs. Brand

  • Generic: each medicine has one approved name called a generic name. Groups with similar actions often has similar sounding generic names e.g. enalapril, cilazapril, lisinopril are a class of blood pressure lowering medication
  • Brand: Some medicines may have one or more brand name. These are chosen by the company that produces the medication. Several different companies may produce the same generic medication but use different brand names often for marketing purposes. For example ibuprofen is the generic name but there are several brands available such as Advil ®, Act-3®, Nurofen®, Motrin®.
  • The appearance of generic medications may vary depending on which company produces it. Do not be alarmed if your regular medication seems to have changed shape or colour, your pharmacist may be sourcing it from a different company but always ask your pharmacist if you are concerned.
  • Medication regulation bodies require that generic medications have the same quality, strength and stability as their brand name versions. They are thoroughly tested to ensure they are equivalent.

 

How much does my insurance cover?

  • This will depend on which insurance company holds your policy
  • In general your insurance will cover 100% of the cost of a generic medication and 80% of the cost of a brand drug; in this case you will have a co-pay of 20%.

 

What are OTC medicines?

  • Over the counter medicines are medications you can buy with out a prescription. These usually treat common ailments such as aches and pains and itches. Some will be available for you to choose yourself off the store shelf; others will require you to speak to a pharmacist first. Your pharmacist may want to ask you some questions to ensure you are getting the right medication and to ensure that you do not require treatment by a doctor.
  • Which medicines are classified as OTC varies from country to country therefore some medicines you could buy without a prescription overseas may not be available in Bermuda.

 

Complementary/Herbal medicines

  • Herbal and complementary medications may be helpful but they do not go through the rigorous testing processes and regulation that prescription medications do. If you decide to take a herbal or complementary medication always discuss this with your pharmacist or doctor to ensure that they do not interact with your regular medication.

 

Safe use of medicines

  • Make a list medications you are taking (name, dose and how often you take it). Keep this in your purse or wallet. Any time your medications change, up date your list.
  • If you have any medication or food allergies include this on your list
  • Also include any over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements or complementary or alternative products
  • Take this list with you when you go to the hospital, to see a specialist or any other healthcare professional
  • Keep medications in their original containers. Many tablets look alike so keeping them in their original containers will help you know which one is which.
  • Read the label each time you take your medicine to make sure you have the right drug and are following the instructions.
  • Swallow medications whole with a large glass of water unless you are instructed to. Some medications need to be whole to be effective or chewing them could make you sick.
  • If you are prescribed a liquid medicine ensure you have an appropriate device to measure it e.g. a syringe or measuring spoon. Ask your pharmacist if you do not.
  • Never take someone else’s medication. These may interact with other medication you are taking or you may be allergic to it.
  • Store all medicines out of reach of children e.g. in a locked cabinet or box
  • Humidity is a problem in Bermuda so try and store your medication in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Humidity, heat and light can affect medication potency and safety.
  • Keep medicines separate from pets medication and household chemicals

 

Disposal of medication

  • When a medication passes its expiry date it may lose its effectiveness and in some cases may become toxic.
  • Check the expiry date on your medication. Do not use expired medication.
  • For original packages like creams and inhalers the expiry date will be printed on the product. For tablets and capsules the expiry date can be found on the dispensing label.
  • For medications with no expiry, unless you purchased it within the past twelve months, it is best to discard it.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet.
  • Small amounts of left over liquid medication may be flushed down the sink.
  • Small amounts of tablets or capsules (should be opened first) can be crushed and dissolved in water before flushing down the sink.
  • Large amounts of medication (such as when a doctor has stopped one of your medications or the medications of a family member who has passed away) or controlled medication should be returned to your pharmacy for appropriate disposal.

 

I am a visitor to the Island and I have forgotten my medication

  • A five day emergency supply can be issued to you from a registered pharmacy. They will require proof that you have had this medication in the past six months or that you are taking it regularly.
  • If this cannot be provided a prescription may be obtained from a Bermuda registered doctor.

 

I am a visitor to the Island and I have a prescription written by my doctor

  • The prescription will have to be countersigned by a Bermuda registered doctor or re-written by a Bermuda registered doctor before it can be filled.
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