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If you ever visit the pharmacy prior to leaving on a trip, you might be getting plastic bags for airport security, travel-size products, or purchasing prescription.
But a pharmacist’s skills extend far beyond just filling prescriptions. They can offer a variety of services to tourists travelling overseas, such as vaccinations and pre-trip health consultations.
What services are available to travellers from pharmacies?
Travelers can speak with pharmacists that provide travel medical services before to their trip to assist them get ready.
The range of what they can provide varies by state, but they can then write prescriptions, dispense drugs, provide immunisations, and even request lab tests. According to Dr. Jeff Goad, a professor of pharmacy practise and associate dean of academic affairs at the Chapman University School of Pharmacy, pharmacists can independently offer any prescription prescriptions for travel, such as antimalarial pills or antibiotics, in California.
That might not be the case depending on where the tourist resides, and different pharmacists may be able to administer different vaccines. All states permit pharmacists to administer vaccines, he added, but not all states let pharmacists to administer all vaccines.
According to Hurley-Kim, some large chain pharmacies have certified travel health pharmacists, and independent pharmacies may promote those services as a specialty area of their operations. She pointed out that the International Association of Travel Medicine also has a list of travel clinics.
Do national chains of pharmacies assist travellers?
Pharmacists at Walgreens, for instance, can give vaccine dosages for diseases including polio, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis as well as assist travellers in determining what vaccinations they might require. A representative said that not all pharmacies may have every vaccine. State and age limitations are also in place for the vaccinations.
The clinical team prepared a 3-hour CE course about travel health for Walgreens pharmacists, according to the spokesperson’s email.
On the website of the pharmacy chain, travellers may also learn more about Walgreens’ offerings and make appointments for vaccinations.
CVS Pharmacy does not have a “formal travel health service,” despite providing a variety of immunisations, a representative stated via email. But, travel health services are available at MinuteClinic locations.
What additional advantages come from visiting a pharmacist before a trip?
Pharmacy services might be convenient. Stock up on products like bug spray, insect netting, and medications for common illnesses like traveler’s diarrhoea, according to Goad.
Travelers might also be able to see a pharmacist more quickly than, say, a primary care physician if they have an upcoming trip. In a drugstore, you can typically schedule an appointment within 48 hours, according to Goad. That is customary.
When should tourists consult a pharmacist before their trip?
Travelers shouldn’t wait until the last minute just because they can schedule an appointment quickly.
Hurley-Kim advised arriving one to two months in advance of a trip, especially because certain vaccinations need for repeated doses. “Four to eight weeks is really kind of the sweet spot where we know we’re probably going to be able to get in all the immunisations and medicines that you need without it being too soon that things may change by the time you travel,” she added.
What does visiting a pharmacist cost before travelling?
According to Hurley-Kim, the cost of travel health treatments might vary greatly. She claimed that a pharmacist will usually charge an appointment fee for the initial visit, and she has in the past charged about $60, albeit she provides reductions for certain populations, such as students and older citizens. Such expense is unlikely to be covered by health insurance.
Vaccine costs vary depending on the type and the number of doses in a series. Travelers require at least two doses of the rabies vaccine, which Hurley-Kim described as “sort of infamously costly” and may cost between $300 and $400 per dosage. Some might only need a few dosages and cost between $50 and $200.
According to Goad, health insurance will typically pay for the prescription drugs that pharmacists offer as part of these services.
You might find it helpful even if you don’t think you need to consult a pharmacist before your vacation. Asking never hurts, according to Hurley-Kim.