Pharmacy subtracts, adds medications
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 36th Medical Support Squadron Pharmacy discontinued 35 over-the-counter prescriptions in March 2013 here to enable patients to care for themselves instead of making appointments for minor medical issues.
Along with removing unused medications, 133 frequently-prescribed medications, that were initially unavailable in the 36th MDSS pharmacy, were added to the formulary. The clinic also recently began improving supply processes to ensure all the medications in the formulary are always in stock.
"We have done more expansion than decrease so that when a patient requests something, we have it on hand," said Maj. Rebekah Mooney, 36th MDSS pharmacy element leader. "However, we are still controlling how many prescriptions are going out."
The pharmacy decided to keep the top 50 prescribed over-the-counter medications. However, doctors try to advise patients with non-threatening conditions to purchase common medications, such as Ibuprofen, to save the Air Force money.
The major stressed the importance of self care and use of over-the-counter medication for minor issues with flu-like and cold-like symptoms, especially in adults and older children. This opens up appointments for people who have serious conditions that need a doctor's attention. This makes it easier for people requiring extensive medical treatment to be seen on base instead of having to commute to Guam Naval Hospital.
The clinic encourages patients to refer to the Self Care Book, a free resource available at the 36th Medical Group Clinic Disease Management office, before making the call for an appointment.
"We encourage people to try to take care of themselves first," Mooney said. "If they cannot, then we are here to help. The pharmacy provides a service to help our patients' overall health and healing process."
For more information, please contact the 36th Medical Group at 366-WELL or 366-9355.