Home Pharmacy Preparedness

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plan on your pharmacy being open or not looted after Day 1 after
the SHTF.
Just like most cops have reported on this site that they will leave
their posts to protect their families, pharmacists will do the same.
Most chain pharmacists have no loyalty other than a paycheck, so
unlike “One
Second After
” it would be unlikely that a chain pharmacist
would show up to work and risk their life after the SHTF. Independent
pharmacists who own their own store, and have their fortune tied
to it have a better chance of being there, armed, with a more controlled
environment, but even those will only last for a few days, at most.
Once armed bands of thugs start roaming, they will be long gone.
All pharmacies get deliveries every business day. (I have worked
as a pharmacist in both chain & independent stores as well as
hospital pharmacy, so I am familiar with all three types of facilities).
Most pharmacies have to pay for their drug orders within seven days,
and many drugs are so expensive that inventories are kept low, (typical
inventories are about $200,000) since re-supply is almost daily
it is not a problem until deliveries dry up. Within one day, many
drugs will be dispensed, especially if patients are given a larger
than normal supply.

Insurance companies,
Medicaid, and Medicare Part-D all try to stop patients from stockpiling
drugs. So, what can be done? First of all, as mentioned here on
this site; improve your health by diet & exercise. Stock up
on the vitamins & supplements your family uses. Keep all over
the counter (OTC)
drugs in the sealed, original container, and rotate your stock.
Store all medicine according to the storage directions from the
manufacturer; I’ve seen mentioned on this site or others where
drugs should be stored in the refrigerator, but not all drugs should;
so read the label or check with your pharmacist. Have your Doctor
write prescriptions for a year supply as a quantity and you should
be able to purchase whatever quantity you can afford at the pharmacy.
Use the generic or ask your pharmacist if there is a generic available
that is similar to the brand name in the same therapeutic drug class;
he may be able to get the doctor to change your prescription for
you. Pharmacies typically carry much larger quantities of generics
than the high priced brand names. If you are on high priced brand
names (like Insulin), try refilling your prescription every 23 days,
a little known fact is that many insurances will allow an early
refill as long as it is within 7 days. Begin to stockpile your insulin
or expensive brand name drugs by marking your calendar and getting
a refill whether you need it or not; every 23 days. Some insurance
companies like Medco keep track and won’t allow any early refills,
so ask your pharmacist and try. Work with your doctor and pharmacist
to increase the quantity of critical expensive medicine like insulin
so you can increase the number of vials you can get, and get it
refilled regularly until your stockpile grows.

Ask your pharmacist
if you can have your long term storage meds dispensed in the sealed
original containers with the expiration dates visible and rotate
your stock. If not; ask that they include an “adsorbent”
which is typically found in the original containers, and have the
pharmacy staff write the expiration date of the drug on your label.
Having anti-virals like “Tamiflu” and antibiotics like
Ciprofloxacin, a broad spectrum cephalosporin like Cephalexin, an
antibiotic eye drop like Gentamycin, an antibiotic ear drop like
generic Cortisporin at home is also a good idea. Avoid Tetracycline;
one of the few antibiotics that is toxic once it expires. Doxycycline
is the drug of choice for Lyme disease, but is related to Tetracycline
and should be discarded after the expiration date. Clearly mark
your bottle with the expiration date, and rotate your stock. Pain
meds like Hydrocodone or Acetaminophen with Codeine will be useful
too. Don’t forget anti-fungal creams, topical steroids, and
assemble a great first aid kit.

In my years
of being a Boy Scout leader and dealing with scouts at summer camp
I have treated a large number of ‘usual cases’; so these
are conditions that regularly occur while away from civilization:
diarrhea: use Loperamide it’s OTC now and a good drug, prescription
drugs like Diphenoxylate/atropine are better and Belladonna Alk
with PB help with cramping if available. Stomach aches: have an
antacid like Tums EX, plus a PPI like Omeprazole (now OTC).

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29, 2010

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