how do pharmacies work? Do they just have every kind of medication at all time? How is a prescription ready within an hour?


how do pharmacies work? Do they just have every kind of medication at all time? How is a prescription ready within an hour?

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General yes, pharmacies will keep enough of the more commonly requested medications in stock so that most prescriptions can be filled the same day.

When that’s not possible, depending on various factors, many pharmacies may have multiple deliveries from suppliers each week, making it possible to order anything that isn’t in stock within a few days if it’s available from the supplier.

They order drugs online from suppliers.

Most drugs prescribed are common and so they keep them in stock.

If you get prescribed some rare drug a pharmacy might not have it readily available and it’ll need to wait for a resupply, and you might bounce around every pharmacy in town looking for your prescription. Some pharmacies get deliveries daily.

Some drugs there’s just shortages on: ex: there was a recent shortage on adderall and a lot of pharmacies could not get resupplies.

They don’t have everything ready at all time. It also depends on the country the pharmacy is in. For example in most countries meds are prepackaged to begin with. Only in the USA they get packaged by the pharmacy in bottles. So when you go to Germany, everything is packages by the manufacturer and you can get an individual amount of tablets. So there you go and it takes 2 minutes to get it.
Here in the USA in larger ones they have robots that will package the meds in the bottles and label them as well. This is why it can take an hour or two to get it ready.
If it’s something they don’t have in stock but it’s at the nearest warehouse it had to be brought in from there. In general a pharmacy gets a delivery ones a day, so it could be they already got it and you have to wait for a day to get it.
If it’s something uncommon, it might have to be shipped from further away and take a day or two.

Now while it sounds cheaper to have it packages at the pharmacy in needed amounts while in other countries it’s take it all or nothing, other countries are cheaper because pharm companies can’t just charge unusual high amounts.
So when I stock up on meds when visiting other countries, I pay 10% over the counter of what I would pay here.
So just for one medication the money I save already pays for a flight to Europe.

Pharmacist here who used to work in a community pharmacy in south Fl. For most community / retail pharmacies, they manage an inventory on hand of medications that they expect to use. There are what most people call “fast movers” or “common stock” that are commonly dispensed, and then sections for other oral medications, liquids, ointments, creams, and even some injections. A lot of times if it’s less common, the drug has to be ordered from a supplier. Most pharmacies have contracts with one and they can submit an order online. Usually comes the next day or the day after.

When a prescription is electronically sent over or a patient brings a hard copy, we have to enter or process it in. We make sure it’s appropriate for the dose, directions, quantity, etc. Then we verify it, double checking for any drug interactions (for most there are not any major or severe drug interactions). Once it’s filled we verify it one more time and it’s ready to be sold. Some prescriptions can be filled within an hour depending on how easy of a fill it is, others are more complicated and require calling a doctor to verify, adjusting a dose, etc.

Sometimes drugs are on shortage from the supplier and we simply can’t get them even if we try to order them everyday. It’s different everywhere in the country and hard to predict.

Yea, they keep many prescriptions on hand at all times. They know what are most common in general, what are most common in their area (based on demographics), and what long term meds their regular customers take for chronic conditions to make sure they have them. Even 1000 pills is like the size of a soda can, so not that hard to keep 1000’s of containers of different meds on hand.

But there are still times when they don’t carry all meds. My wife take a less common, expensive prescription and sometimes Walgreen’s needs to order it and it takes a day or two for prescription to be ready.