April 9, 2020

Pharmacy trips are essential; here is how to minimize the risks

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — “Stay home” is standard operating procedure during the COVID-19 crisis, but some essential trips are exceptions to that rule, among them filling a prescription at the pharmacy.

A Purdue College of Pharmacy resource has some tips for making those trips safely – and keeping your social distance in the process – including an online listing of Indiana pharmacies that offer delivery, drive-thru and curbside pickup services.

Access to medication is vital, especially for people being treated for chronic conditions, both for their personal well-being and to avoid adding unnecessarily to the burden on a health care system already stressed by the virus outbreak, said Jasmine Gonzalvo, clinical associate professor in Purdue's College of Pharmacy and director of the Center for Health Equity and Innovation.

Purdue’s statewide pharmacy information listing, available online, includes major pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger and others, and also lists smaller local pharmacies.

“We’ve organized the list into northern, central and southern Indiana to make it easier for people to search for a pharmacy most convenient to them,” Gonzalvo said.

Here are some tips to make that pharmacy trip even more convenient – and more importantly safer.

  • Know what medications you need and try to arrange for their pickup in one trip.
  • Make sure you have the proper identification, if required, to pick up your prescription.
  • Call ahead to the pharmacy to make sure your prescription is ready.
  • Ask (or check Purdue’s list) if they have a delivery, drive-thru window or curbside pickup option and use them if so. If not, you can ask to transfer your prescription to a location that does. “The pharmacist can take care of this for you,” Gonzalvo said. “You just need to know where you would like to transfer your prescription.”
  • If you are high risk (people over age 65, immunocompromised, with asthma, chronic lung disease, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, or serious heart conditions), send a lower-risk family member or friend to pick up your medication if possible. They should take advantage of drive-thru or curbside pickup service when available as well.

About Purdue University

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Writer: Greg Kline

Media contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Jasmine Gonzalvo, jgonzalv@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: A video featuring Jasmine Gonzalvo is available online. A pharmacy-related stock art image is available via a Google Drive folder.

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