Frequently Asked Questions Q: Am I speaking to a pharmacist or a technician? A: Only a pharmacist is a trained drug information expert. Be sure that the advice you are receiving about your medications comes from the pharmacist. Q: How long will I have to wait to have my prescription filled? A: Assuming you are a walk-in customer, all three URMC outpatient pharmacies try to fill a prescription within 20 minutes, but due to the work load, this is not always possible. To avoid delays, you can call ahead so that the prescription will be ready to be picked up. Q: How much is my co-pay? A: You can check out the prescription co-pays if you have one of these insurance plans: Aetna Blue Cross/Blue Shield MVP Health Care Medicaid Q. I know what to ask my doctor, but what kinds of things should I be asking my pharmacist? A. If you are new to a medication you might want to know: What is this medication designed to do to me? How will it function in my body? Who should or should not be using this drug? How will my use of this medication be monitored? When do I start taking them? When do I stop taking them? Q: If I get confused about what I can eat and not eat and certain side effects with my prescription, what should I do? A: All four of our outpatient pharmacies have a designated quiet area for person and confidential consultations for patient and pharmacist discussions. Q: How are the URMC outpatient pharmacies different from a regular pharmacy? A: Our staff in all four facilities represent a knowledge base with specialty prescriptions not routinely found in community pharmacies. Hospitals are different. On a daily basis we serve the pharmacy needs for transplant procedures, HIV, hepatitis, severe mental illness, and other complicated conditions. We also offer specialty pharmaceuticals by (compounding) right in Strong Memorial Hospital. Q: What about generic drugs? A: Generic drugs are an excellent way to help avoid spiraling medical costs. Generics are approved and endorsed by the government. In other words, generic prescriptions are just as safe and as effective as brand name drugs and, in fact, have been found to have fewer recalls. Q: How do pharmacies prevent accidents when they dispense drugs? A: Technology has helped a great deal preventing accidents. For example, the robot we use in the hospital pharmacy doesn't look as much like fat little man as a big computer, but being a robot it can't make is mistake. Robots like this one are fairy common in sophisticated pharmacies because they're tireless, round the clock workers for repetitive tasks. Our robot holds approximately 200 different drugs which the robot automatically counts, labels and dispenses 24x7. Bar coding is another new way pharmacies are preventing accidents in matching prescriptions for medications. Q: I've heard that there's a shortage of trained pharmacists nationwide, is that true? A: Our close association with two schools of pharmacy in New York State helps us attract and maintain a talented work force. It's true, however, that nationwide there is a serious lack of qualified people in the industry. The demand for pharmacists and trained technicians is acute because, in part, aging baby boomers are living longer than their parents and more aggressive therapies (including transplants) that require more sophisticated services from the outpatient pharmacy. Q: I live in a house with no children in it, why do I have to suffer with those “child proof” caps when I want to take my medicine? A: Tell your pharmacist and request no child proof caps on all of your medications. Q: My course of treatment requires hypodermic needles (household sharps). How do I safely get rid of used household sharps? A: The URMC Pharmacy is a designated (safe disposal) site of household sharps. The FREE Collection Service is located just off the Main Lobby of Strong Memorial Hospital at the back door of the pharmacy. There is also a safe disposal drop box for after hours use. Q. What does it take to be an excellent pharmacist? A. Information. No professional has more access to understanding today's drug information than a good pharmacist. The age-old profession that even precedes ancient Greece has changed from being product-centered to information gathering and education. Pharmacists help people manage their diseases. Q. What's one of the quickest ways to land back in the hospital following discharge? A. Not taking medications as prescribed. Q. My mother puts all medications in the refrigerator. Should all medications be refrigerated? A. Proper storage of drugs is always on the label of a certified pharmaceutical. Follow those guidelines which may, in fact, call for refrigeration.