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Buckley Pharmacy first in AF to offer medication review service

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airman 1st Class Christina Caputo, 460th Medical Group, refills prescriptions at the new base pharmacy, Sept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Manisha Vasquez)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airman 1st Class Christina Caputo, 460th Medical Group, refills prescriptions at the Buckley Pharmacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Manisha Vasquez)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- According to the Buckley Pharmacy sometimes people are prescribed so many medications they no longer know which one does what job, they're just told to take this one at this time and that one at that time, so they do.

Well, what if they're overdosing on one of those medications, not getting enough of it or they're taking two or three that practically do the same job.

According to the Buckley Pharmacy this happens quite a bit, and they've stepped up to volunteer as the first Air Force installation to offer a medication review service to service members, their dependents and retirees.

"The overall goal is to improve patient health and patient care as well as to decrease health care cost," said Maj. Candice Lagasse, 460th Medical Group diagnostics and therapeutics flight commander.

The service provides beneficiaries the opportunity to discuss their prescription medication, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements privately with a pharmacist.

"We have a lot of retirees who see multiple physicians and they don't always know necessarily what they're medications are for," said Matthew Ellis, 460th MDG clinical pharmacist. "We help put all the pieces together to understand what they're taking, why they're taking it and empower them to make their own decision."

He explained some doctors don't realize they're seeing a patient previously seen by another doctor, and a doctor will incidentally prescribe them a similar prescription in which they could be overdosing.

He gave an example of a patient with diabetes, who was only being prescribed 40 percent of the maximum dosage and his sugar was higher than it should have been. If left untreated and taking the same dosage, there is a chance it could lead to side-effects such as blindness and shooting pains throughout the body.

So what the pharmacist can do is fax their recommendations to the patient's physician, hoping to get on the same page and adjust the prescription or prescriptions.

By offering this service, the Buckley Pharmacy is also hoping to increase their business, which would save the Department of Defense money.

According to Lagasse, it cost the DoD approximately 25 percent less when a prescription is filled at a military pharmacy. She said what people may not know is many medications patients have prescriptions for are carried at the pharmacy and if they don't have it, they can transfer it in.

Leaving the pharmacy a one-stop place for all their medications as well as saving the DoD money and it's free for patients, said Ellis.

If anyone is interested in meeting with a Buckley pharmacist to discuss their prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal supplements, call 720-847-7452 to make an appointment.
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