An essential part of every pharmacist’s role is to help you understand your medication.
Every time you have your prescription filled there is a series of steps your pharmacist performs. First your pharmacist will ask for your name, your British Columbia CareCard and one other piece of identification. An officially recognized form of photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport can also be used for identification. Your pharmacist will enter your information into their computer, which is connected to the province wide PharmaNet system. PharmaNet links all community and hospital outpatient pharmacies in B.C. through a central database.
PharmaNet contains your personal medication record and is completely confidential. It tracks your prescription history over the past 14 months, regardless of where you get your prescription filled in B.C. Information stored on PharmaNet helps your pharmacist make decisions about your health care. Your record can be accessed only by a licensed pharmacist or other authorized health care professionals, and only when medically necessary.
You can ask for a copy of your PharmaNet record at any time. For more information on this, please visit the following section of our website: You & Your Pharmacist > PharmaNet Patient Record > Obtaining your Pharmanet Patient Record
Your pharmacist reviews your prescription along with your PharmaNet patient record, to make sure:
- The information provided by your doctor, dentist, or other health-care provider is complete,
- The medication, strength, and dosage instructions are appropriate for your health condition,
- The new prescription is okay to take with other medications you may be taking,
- There are no potential problems such as duplicate therapy or drug interactions,
- You are not allergic to the medication, and
- Your medications are working for you and you are not experiencing any problems.
Your pharmacist will provide counseling on the medication and will confirm/explain:
- Who the medication is for,
- What the medication is for,
- The directions for proper use,
- Common side effects or interactions, what to expect and how to treat, if needed,
- How soon to expect the medication to work,
- What to do if you miss a dose,
- How to store your medication, and
- Review your prescription refill information.
Tell your pharmacist about any non-prescription drugs you are taking. Many over-the-counter products including natural health products and herbal supplements may interact with your medication. Your pharmacist can also offer suggestions on lifestyle and other non-drug measures. You should also be sure to tell the pharmacist about any allergies you have.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to look after your own health. Taking your medication properly is an important part of taking care of yourself. By working with your pharmacist, you can be sure you take your medication safely, effectively, and appropriately to maintain your good health.