Student Profile: Irene Andrada '15
Vision of a Pharmacy
When I think about what I want for my future pharmacy, I envision a pharmacy that specializes with allergies. Being allergic to many things, I have gone through the trouble and hassle of trying to find places like restaurants, grocery stores, and other places that really cater to my allergy-specific needs. As for the specific type of community, I would probably start with something urban to try to reach a bigger amount of people to find the specific niche of people with allergies. At this pharmacy, it would be very patient specific and would cater to each individual's specific needs.
The services that I would provide would include the regular filling of prescriptions but would really be detailed in obtaining medicinal allergies, food allergies, seasonal allergies, and their reactions. This would be sure that we can really give something completely safe to the patient. Additionally, I would carry OTC medications that would specify if there were any of the common allergens present in an item. Since I became gluten-free, I learned that some cough drops do in fact have gluten and went through the struggle of finding something that would not give me an allergic reaction when I already feel sick. Sometimes when you are sick, you just want to find the things as easily as you can to go home and rest. With the OTC, I also would provide many options for specific products needed for allergies like hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl spray, antihistamines, lactaid, eye drops, probiotics and would research other products that could be used to help with allergies. A wide-array of vitamin supplements would be needed to supplement those who do have food allergies. I also intend to have dietician or nutritionist who would be able to consult someone with a food allergy especially if they do end up with some disease states like hyperlipidemia, hypertension, or diabetes. With allergies, trying to eat right to treat these diseases could get very difficult and sometimes it's easiest to come find someone that would know what to substitute for certain foods if you do end up being allergic.
Aside from the pharmacy, I do intend to carry other items that someone with allergies may need like tissues, a lunch box, nice carry bag for the epipen/any medications needed to carry with you at all times, hypoallergenic pillow cases, lotions/shampoos/ soaps/deodorants that are without some of the most common allergens in it. I would also sell allergy-safe baby products and have allergy specific bracelets/identifiers that can be made for children who do go to school and might have allergies so that the care-giver/teacher would know about the conditions of the child. Each staff member would also be informed of the different possible allergies to make the patient feel at home. I plan to carry any items that a person with allergies would really need to live comfortably.
Since I am targeting a specific niche, the pharmacy would really be impeccably clean for those allergic to dust and the staff would be informed not to wear any strong fragrance for the patients as well.
I would want it to have a very neat appearance to appeal to those with allergies and their families. I would try to partner up with a local allergy doctor within the area just as a way to get patients as well since we would be able to help them with their allergies. This would be a very mutually beneficial relationship as any other our customers could also be sent to them. If they do bring a list of what they are allergic too, the staff would be able to help them pick out products for them. I also would partner up with some grocery stores/bakeries like whole foods and Kara's cupcakes that do cater to people with allergies. This would also include restaurants that are friendly and patient in dealing with customers with allergies.
An Innovative Pain Management Program
If my independent pharmacy had two new patients, Monson and Raich who needed marijuana, I would first assess their pain to really evaluate the doctor claim for them to "absolutely need" the marijuana and if their lives were really threatened without it. This would include classifying the pain as well as exacerbating factors and times of pain. In treating an intense pain, I would like to combine different types of treatment to really attack the problem at all different angles. That is also the reason why I would do much research of the patient to see all the different aspects of their pains. To start off treatment, I would really like to add as much nondrug treatments as I possibly can like maybe ice packs, heating pads, yoga, stretching, or meditation. I may even try to find some teas or herbs that might help with pain relief. Maybe a warm bath could help with the pain as well.
In addition, I would want a complete drug list of all the prescription pain relievers they have tried and reasons for why the patient feels that these not work. I would try many strong pain kills like morphine or vicodin to give in addition to the nondrug therapy measures. I would also try combining different pain relievers together if that would hopefully create an additive effect to help with pain treatment. Furthermore, when finding about the problems with the pain I could maybe add additional medications like muscle relaxants, sedatives, or anti-psychotics based on the actual cause of the pain.
I'd also collaborate with doctors that specialize in pain to come up with a proper treatment for the patients. If this does not actually help with Monson and Raich's pain, I would also try to add a psychiatrist and physical therapist. Maybe the psychiatrist can help their mind with the pain depending of if the reason for the pain is rooted mentally. If the pain is rooted due to a physical problem, the physical therapist may be able to help alleviate the cause of the problem. My main concern would definitely be treating the pain by attacking the cause and making sure all different types of pain being felt could be alleviated to a comfortable level of pain.
Another option I would try is a drug that has some components of marijuana but is still legal like Marinol. If even the Marinol would be unable to alleviate the pain, I would admit the patients to a hospital to try some IV therapy analgesia. I would definitely start off with a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) since the patients are alert and able to press the button when they feel pain. This way we can evaluate the pain as well as give a more potent and fast acting pain reliever. If we are able to come up with an IV therapy that brings their pain down to a tolerable level then we can evaluate to see what dose they need or if they would need to come in for IV treatment maybe once a month or week dependent on how much analgesia/pain relief is truly needed.