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    Pharmacies Prepare for Back to School

    Pharmacists are a source of education for students and parents.

    It’s back to school. Retail pharmacies need to get ready for the onslaught of pharmacy needs that crop up among their younger patients as they return to school.  

    “Children, ‘tweens, and teens cannot be underestimated, and need to be treated with importance,” said Charles Tabouchirani, RPh, Owner and Supervising Pharmacist at Cherry’s Pharmacy, a children’s pharmacy located in Manhattan. “We as pharmacists have a job in advising the younger generation on how to take medications and how to stay away from toxic medications.” Back to school is an opportune time to enhance that discussion, he said. 

    In dealing with the younger population, said Tabouchirani, pharmacists can help ensure that their younger patients receive their medications via the most appealing delivery systems. For example, preschoolers will most likely prefer a liquid dose of a medication while older children might prefer a pill. 

    “Children are not just small adults, said Jake Olson, PharmD, owner of Skywalk Children’s Pharmacy in Milwaukee. They require different doses or different meds entirely from adults, he said.   

    The pharmacist can be a source of education to parents at this time of year, said Tabouchirani “As students return from camp, for example, it’s important for parents to make sure their offspring have brought back all their medicine.”  As a further check, parents should ensure that appropriate refills are requested.

    “Pharmacists can give parents and students expert advice about the records that need to be filled out for school medication administration and also on how to organize the students’ medications and records,” said Scott Goldberg, Spokesperson for Walgreens. “In addition, pharmacists can support parents and students at any level by sharing information about back-to-school immunizations, side effects, drug and food interactions, as well as tips on remembering when to take medications.” 

    Head Lice

    While several health concerns come to the forefront as students head back to their classrooms, head lice seems to top the list at most pharmacies. “This is a big issue,” Gabe Trahan, NCPA’s Senior Director of Store Operations and Marketing, told Drug Topics. “Many parents are looking for all-natural remedies, so it would be wise for pharmacies to stock up on both traditional and alternative choices.” 

    Tabouchirani concurred that natural products, in addition to the traditional ones, are often in demand. 

    “It’s important to alert parents to this topic,” he said. “Kids come back from summer camp and bring back critters.  It’s very important for parents to inspect students for ticks and lice.” 

    In addition to stocking up on lice products, Olson stresses the importance of education. “We have our head lice products prominently displayed,” along with educational brochures, he told Drug Topics. “We remind parents that their offspring should not share hats and also point out places where lice can be contracted, such as at a movie theater.”

    Up next: Make sure to check these off your list!

    Kathleen Gannon Longo
    Kathleen Gannon Longo is a Contributing Editor.

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