January 18, 2018
Patients probably don’t think about consulting with their pharmacist about a new diet program. Or about the right vitamin regimen for them.
But, if you promote your pharmacists as nutrition experts, you can give patients another reason to stop in your independent community pharmacy.
Pharmacy organizations and the public increasingly recognize pharmacists as an accessible health care option. And not only for prescriptions. For example, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encouraged consumers to consult with their pharmacist before starting a new diet plan.
Pharmacists need to use this increased support for their roles as health care providers to boost business at their pharmacies. Nutrition and diet is one option. And it’s a good place to start.
Consumers often don’t realize that diet plans and programs can potentially result in nutritional deficiencies. And, they can adversely interact with medications.
They don’t know that drinking grapefruit juice with certain medications can have negative side effects. Most patients also have no idea that leafy greens high in vitamin K can hinder the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs.
Use your knowledge of food and drug interactions like these to promote nutrition services to patients.
Make your pharmacy a resource for patients looking to learn more about nutrition and wellness. Proper nutrition can help all patients. From healthy patients looking to maintain proper nutrition to overweight patients on medications for high cholesterol.
Work with a local nutritionist or registered dietician to host nutrition classes at your pharmacy.
The nutritionist and one of your pharmacists could switch off giving a lecture or a demonstration at each class.
The nutritionist could focus on providing healthy recipe ideas and better eating tips. And the pharmacist could talk about medication-related nutritional deficiencies and supplementation tips.
Be sure to host the classes at your pharmacy. So, you can get additional revenue from patients purchasing needed vitamins and supplements.
Many of the prescriptions your pharmacy dispenses every day cause drug-induced nutrient depletion.
Start counseling your patients about these nutritional deficiencies. And, recommend the right vitamins and supplements to boost their nutrient levels.
If you stock the supplements patients need to counteract nutrient depletion, you’ll help them and increase front-end sales.
If you’re going to counsel patients on nutrition, make sure to stock your pharmacy’s front end with the vitamins and supplements patients need.
Carry a good supply of vitamins and supplements for common drug-induced nutrient deficiencies at a minimum.
Some pharmacies look beyond stocking the everyday items for vitamin supplementation and take it a step further.
Take Coastal Pharmacy & Wellness, an independent community pharmacy in Portland, Maine.
The pharmacy stocks high-quality nutritional products from more than 150 vendors. And, it strives to help patients find the right vitamins and supplements for their mind, body and lifestyle.
The pharmacy even offers wellness specialists on staff to help patients find the right products for them.
Show patients your pharmacy knows its stuff when it comes to nutrition.
Let patients know through marketing, advertising and promotions.
If you could encourage obese patients to lose weight and eat better, you’d help them potentially improve their outcomes and take fewer medications.
And your pharmacy is in a prime position to help. You see patients every day taking medications for high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Helping them lose weight could improve their health.
If you want to offer weight loss counseling in your pharmacy, here’s an obesity management counseling guide from Pharmacy Times. You could offer weight loss counseling as a formal program. Or, have more informal chats with patients when they pick up their prescriptions.
If you don’t want to create your own weight loss counseling program, take a look at Take Charge®.
This lifestyle modification program helps pharmacies with obesity screening, education and counseling. It helps pharmacies teach patients healthy strategies to improve their nutrition and fitness over the course of 13 weeks.
These are just a few ways you can spread the word about your pharmacy—and how you do far more than just dispense prescriptions. You don’t have to only stick with nutrition and diet, either. Promote the other valuable clinical services your pharmacy offers.
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