FAQ to your pharmacist

FAQ to your pharmacist

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about medications and your pharmacist’s job, but were afraid to ask!



Drug Prices


Question 1:

Why does the price of a drug vary from one pharmacy to another? (And can consumers obtain information on how drug prices are set?)

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Answer

Drug pricing is an issue that raises many questions among customers – and rightly so. The different drug plans that exist in Quebec (private and public) and the various conditions that apply in each case, combined with the competitive nature of the free market, means that drug prices can vary from one pharmacy to another or even from one month to the next. To ensure that our commitment to transparency helps you choose the pharmacy that is right for you, we will gladly answer any questions you may have on drug prices. If our staff members are unable to give you this information immediately – either because it requires research on our part or because time does not permit due to other duties under way behind the counter – we will be sure to contact you as soon as possible. Keep in mind that it is always better to purchase all your medications at the same pharmacy. That way, the pharmacist can gain an overall picture of your drug profile and intervene if problems arise. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the pharmacist-owner.

Expired medications


Question 1:

Are pharmacists required to make sure all drugs sold in pharmacies are fit for consumption (e.g. that they are not expired)?

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Answer

Despite their specialized, complex nature, medications are consumer products and, as such, they too have an expiry date. At Uniprix-affiliated pharmacies, our priority is to offer you quality pharmaceuticals that are safe and effective. That’s why we have established a rigorous protocol on the management of expired medications. The goal of the protocol is to ensure that all pharmaceuticals – both over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs – are sold during their useful life. If you have questions about our expired medications management protocol, please write to us at service_clientele@uniprix.com. We will be more than happy to respond to your information request in a timely manner.

Question 2:

I used an expired medication. Is that dangerous?

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Answer

The expiry date is written on a medication by its manufacturer to guarantee its efficacy and safety.

If you have used an expired medication, talk to your pharmacist. He can tell you about possible consequences and steps to take. 

Question 3:

What does the pharmacist do with the expired medications we return to the pharmacy?

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Answer

The pharmacist collects expired medications to make sure they are safely destroyed. He then hands them over to a specialized company, which disposes of them in a safe, environmentally friendly manner.

Generic drugs


Question 1:

Are generic drugs as effective as recognized brand-name medications?

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Answer

Prescription and over-the-counter generic drugs (e.g. Option+ products) are just as effective as recognized brand-name medications.

The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture generic drugs must undergo rigorous testing to prove that their generic product is equal to the original. Generic medications contain the same active ingredients. The efficacy and unwanted side effects are therefore similar to those of the original medication. Their appearance is generally similar as well, but may vary at times.

There is often a difference in price between generic drugs and the original medications. Generic products are generally cheaper because the companies that manufacture them did not invest in the research and development of the original molecule.

If you want to learn more about this topic, talk to your pharmacist. He’s there to help!

Question 2:

Will my pharmacist automatically give me a generic drug if it is available on the market?

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Answer

Normally, if the generic medication exists, the pharmacist will offer it to you. However, the patient has the final say in the matter.

Certain medications do not yet have a generic equivalent, since the company that formulated them still holds exclusive patent rights over it for a certain period of time. 

Preparing prescritions


Question 1:

Does smoking influence the dosage and choice of a medication?

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Answer

A pharmacist is a health professional, and as such, he must conduct a comprehensive analysis of your file to ensure that the treatment prescribed is the best for you and for the medical issues affecting you. For example, he will check whether you have any allergies and if the efficacy of your medication may be influenced by other medications you are taking or by your lifestyle. He may also need to contact the physician who prescribed the medication(s) to verify certain details of your treatment. In other cases, he will need to perform calculations to validate the prescribed doses. When renewing your prescriptions, the pharmacist must be just as thorough in verifying the medications he is giving you.
Question 2:

What information should I give the pharmacist when I present my prescription at the counter?

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Answer

You must always make sure your patient file is up to date. If you have developed new allergies or are taking new medications, be sure to tell your pharmacist.

If it’s your first visit to the branch, the pharmacist will ask you a series of questions required to set up your file. The information he gathers will help him to adequately analyze your profile in order to advise you even better. He will also ask you about other prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitamins and natural products you are taking, your medical history, lifestyle and allergies. He may also ask you questions about other issues related to your treatment

Question 3:

What influences the dosage of my medication?

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Answer

Many factors can influence the prescribed dose of a medication. Each person has unique traits that can have an impact on the dose prescribed. Here are a few examples:

  • Age
  • Kidney function
  • Weight and height
  • Other medications you are on
  • State of health
  • Certain lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol intake, diet).

If you’re concerned about the dose of a medication, talk to your pharmacist. He can give you the information you need! 

Question 4:

My prescription record is at a rival pharmacy; how can I transfer it to the nearest Uniprix-affiliated pharmacy?

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Answer

You should be able to transfer your file from one pharmacy to another without any restrictions, since you have control over it.

At your request, your Uniprix-affiliated pharmacist will take care of obtaining your file from another establishment.

It is better to bring all of your prescriptions to the same pharmacist, however, as this makes it easier to analyze your file.

If you have any questions, talk to your pharmacist!  

Question 5:

Does smoking influence the dosage and choice of a medication?

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Answer

Smoking can, in fact, affect the efficacy of certain medications. The dosage can be increased or decreased to ensure their effectiveness.

That’s why it’s important to let your pharmacist know if your smoking habits change (if you increase or decrease your intake or if you quit).

Question 6:

Why must certain medications be taken before a meal and others with food?

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Answer

Some medications are difficult to digest; taking them with food serves to protect the stomach. In addition, other medications are better absorbed by the body when food is present. You need to be especially careful, however, since some foods must be avoided when taking certain medications in order to avoid affecting the way they are absorbed by the body.

Other medications must be taken on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal), since that is how the active ingredient is best absorbed by the body, ensuring an optimal treatment.

Every case is unique, however. If you have any questions about your medications, ask your pharmacist.

Question 7:

Is it really that important to follow the dosage regimen established by the pharmacist?

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Answer

It is important to follow the dosage regimen established by your pharmacist, since some medications must be taken with food and others without in order to maximize their efficacy. In addition, a medication’s efficiency can vary based on the other drugs you are taking, your diet or your sleeping habits.

Always remember that if the pharmacist gave you a schedule to follow, it’s because he has carefully analyzed your file. He is simply ensuring that your treatment runs smoothly. 

Dosage regimen


Question 1:

Why must certain medications be taken before a meal and others with food?

Click here to see the answer

Answer

Some medications are difficult to digest; taking them with food serves to protect the stomach. In addition, other medications are better absorbed by the body when food is present. You need to be especially careful, however, since some foods must be avoided when taking certain medications in order to avoid affecting the way they are absorbed by the body.

Other medications must be taken on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal), since that is how the active ingredient is best absorbed by the body, ensuring an optimal treatment.

Every case is unique, however. If you have any questions about your medications, ask your pharmacist.

Question 2:

Is it really that important to follow the dosage regimen established by the pharmacist?

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Answer

It is important to follow the dosage regimen established by your pharmacist, since some medications must be taken with food and others without in order to maximize their efficacy. In addition, a medication’s efficiency can vary based on the other drugs you are taking, your diet or your sleeping habits. </p><p>Always remember that if the pharmacist gave you a schedule to follow, it’s because he has carefully analyzed your file. He is simply ensuring that your treatment runs smoothly.

Prescription transfer


Question 1:

My prescription record is at a rival pharmacy; how can I transfer it to the nearest Uniprix-affiliated pharmacy?

Click here to see the answer

Answer

You should be able to transfer your file from one pharmacy to another without any restrictions, since you have control over it.

At your request, your Uniprix-affiliated pharmacist will take care of obtaining your file from another establishment.

It is better to bring all of your prescriptions to the same pharmacist, however, as this makes it easier to analyze your file.

If you have any questions, talk to your pharmacist!