With the prevalence of mail-order pharmacies, I’ve always recommended that my patients use their local pharmacy for at least one prescription. Why? If an emergency arises, and they need a medication or supplies right away, they can get great service locally because they have established a relationship.
A patient who has type 1 diabetes and wears an insulin pump was traveling. His pump malfunctioned. It was the holiday weekend, and it was a Sunday after 6 pm. He contacted the pump company, but due to the holiday, he could not receive a pump for two days. He did not have long-acting insulin with him. I asked him to give me the number of one of the national chain pharmacies, but they were closed. I then asked him to find one that is open 24 hours. He did so. I called to prescribe what he needed. His name was in their system as was mine and my NPI. All worked out fine. A lot of hassle and DKA was prevented.
- Recommend that your patients have at least one local pharmacy. If one is a small pharmacy, that’s fine, but also establish a relationship with a national chain. The national chain can be very helpful when traveling.
- Always discuss the importance of having long- and short-acting insulin available for patients who are on pumps.
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