7 Services You Might Not Know Your Pharmacist Offers

You might be used to visiting your local pharmacist to pick up prescriptions, but did you know there are many other ways your pharmacist can help maintain and improve your health? For many years, pharmacists have been taking on expanded roles in our health care system, working closely with patients, their families and collaborating with other frontline health care providers to deliver personalized, team-based patient care.

In celebration of World Pharmacist Day on September 25th, we’ve rounded up a list of 7 services you might not know your pharmacist offers, from travel vaccinations to smoking cessation consultations. As the most accessible health care providers, it’s easy to take advantage of these services conveniently at your local London Drugs pharmacy!

1. Medication Reviews

The theme of this year’s World Pharmacist Day is “safe and effective medicines for all”. Pharmacists play a crucial role in maintaining patient safety, improving medication adherence and reducing medication errors. One of the many ways they do this is by providing medication reviews. Through medication reviews, pharmacists provide personalized consultations to patients to examine and discuss issues around medication use, side effects, interactions, and anything else related to medication therapy, with the goal of ensuring safe and effective treatments.

2. Vaccinations and Immunizations

Certified Injection Pharmacists are able to administer vaccinations right at the pharmacy. If you haven’t taken advantage of this convenient way of getting vaccinated yet, you aren’t alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs, only four in ten say they have used this service before.

London Drugs’ Certified Injection Pharmacists can ensure you’re up-to-date with many vaccinations you require, and can administer vaccinations for pneumonia, tetanus, pertussis, shingles, and influenza.

Flu Shots

To make getting your annual flu shot as quick and easy as possible during flu season, you can see one of our London Drugs Certified Injection Pharmacists, who are able to administer flu shots to patients. Patients are encouraged to call the pharmacy to confirm availability of the flu vaccine and that an injection pharmacist is on staff. This is a convenient alternative to public flu clinics, where you may have experienced long lines and wait times in the past.

Travel and Vaccination Clinics

When you’re planning a trip abroad, ensuring you are up-to-date on the appropriate travel vaccines is important. Do you know where to get your travel vaccinations? Only one in three (35%) Canadians are aware that travel vaccinations can be administered by a pharmacist.

Travel and Immunization Clinics are hosted at many of our pharmacies to help prepare you for international travel. Pharmacists will review your immunization history and make sure vaccinations are up-to-date according to provincial, national and even international immunization programs. They can also suggest and administer additional vaccines depending on your planned travel activities, previous immunization history and the local conditions at many common destinations.

3. Emergency Prescription Refills, Prescription Renewals & Drug Modifications

Pharmacists make significant contributions to the quality of drug therapy and patient outcomes by initiating, monitoring and adjusting drug therapy. Traditionally in Canada, the authority to prescribe medications has rested with doctors but as part of Pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice in Canada, pharmacists in many provinces now have the ability to provide emergency prescription refills, renew or extend prescriptions, modify or adapt drug therapy, change drug dosage and even have independent prescriptive authority (in Alberta).

4. Diabetes Management Consults

The most important thing you can do to manage your diabetes is to form a partnership with your healthcare professionals. Our London Drugs Certified Diabetes Educators can assist patients through individualized Diabetes Management Consults. These customized one-on-one consultations focus on blood sugar testing, medication management, preventing low blood sugar, foot care, eating well and getting enough physical activity.

5. Healthy Heart Clinics

Pharmacists are playing a key role in the prevention of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, by helping patients understand their risk factors, emphasizing the importance of medication adherence and offering counselling to make important lifestyle changes.

During our one-on-one 45-minute Healthy Heart Clinics, patients have the opportunity to sit down with a London Drugs Patient Care Pharmacist for a customized screening and evaluation. The pharmacist screens for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, random glucose and blood pressure, and can determine a 10-year cardiovascular risk factor based on those measurements. They also discuss with the patient how to lower their risk and improve heart health, which include recommendations for changes to their diet, fitness routines or lifestyle. As a collaborative health care provider, the pharmacist may also contact a physician, in order to recommend changes to the patient’s medications, or further medical intervention.

6. Smoking Cessation Consultations

Trying to quit smoking? Your local pharmacist can be a convenient support resource. During a one-on-one smoking cessation consultation, a London Drugs Certified Tobacco Educator will:

  • Discuss practical tips and advice to help you reduce/quit tobacco
  • Develop a personalized quit plan to help you stop smoking

In BC, pharmacists can also offer the BC smoking cessation program for nicotine replacement.

7. Hepatitis C Screening Clinics

Hepatitis C Screening is just one example in which our pharmacists provide Point of Care Testing to patients. Point of care testing refers to any medical test or screening that is performed outside of a lab or clinic. The testing happens at a place where the patient is receiving care (such as a pharmacy), making it a convenient option for the patient.

This innovative and potentially life-saving hepatitis C screening is available at select London Drugs locations. Patients can undertake a simple finger prick test at the pharmacy to check if they have been exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) at some point in the past. The test, called the OraQuick HCV rapid antibody test, is more than 99% accurate at detecting HCV antibodies and provides results in 20 minutes.

In cases of a positive result, pharmacists refer patients to their family doctor for a diagnostic lab test. Pharmacists provide initial counselling regarding the potential diagnosis and education about the ability to cure HCV.

You can find out which locations offer hepatitis C screening here.


There are even more ways that your pharmacist can help you maintain and improve your health! Just visit them at your local London Drugs pharmacy to learn how.

April 20-27 is National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunization Week

For every vaccine administered at any London Drugs location in BC this week, a second lifesaving vaccine will be donated to immunize a child in another country.

To reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated and to help increase immunization rates, London Drugs has partnered with I Boost Immunity (IBI) as part of National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW), which runs April 20 -27, 2019. For every vaccination administered this week at any London Drugs pharmacies in BC, a second lifesaving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada through I Boost Immunity to immunize a child in another country.

“By getting vaccinated at London Drugs, British Columbians can play an active role in helping to protect tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children from vaccine-preventable diseases,” says Shannon Turner, Executive Director of the Public Health Association of BC.

About 100 years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide. Today, in Canada, those diseases now cause less than 5 per cent of all deaths, thanks largely to immunization programs in all provinces and territories.

With that said, vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles have been making a resurgence in recent months and London Drugs pharmacists are hoping to reinforce the importance and success of immunizations during National Immunization Awareness Week, which also coincides with Vaccination Week in the Americas and World Immunization Week.

Most parents of young children know that the best way to protect their kids is to have them vaccinated on schedule but it is important for adults to review their vaccination history to see if any immunizations are required.

“Even if you received vaccines as a child, the protection provided by some vaccines can wear off over time and may need to be updated. As you age, you may also be at more risk for other diseases due to your health conditions and travel habits, so additional vaccines may be required,” Gianni Del Negro, a Pharmacist at London Drugs.

Vaccines for pneumonia, shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, and rubella are all available at London Drugs. Common travel vaccinations are also available at some pharmacies to prevent illnesses like hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, typhoid, and traveler’s diarrhea.

Patients can simply call the London Drugs pharmacy nearest them to book an appointment to have a vaccination administered. Appointments for Travel Immunization Clinics can also be booked online.

“Simply by getting vaccinated, you can make a global impact, providing life-saving vaccinations to children worldwide. At the same time, you are taking care of your own health needs and potentially saving the lives of people in your community as well,” adds Shannon Turner.

Health Tips Video: Do You Need to Update Your Immunizations?

Do you need an update on your immunizations?

Immunization, or vaccination, is a marvel of medical science. Immunization protects people from diseases by introducing viruses and bacteria to their bodies in a safe way, triggering their immune systems to start producing antibodies. These antibodies then protect them if they encounter these disease-causing agents in the wild, either reducing the likelihood of developing the disease or eliminating it entirely.

Since the invention of vaccines, immunization has eradicated smallpox and dramatically reduced the incidence of other diseases like polio. Countries like Canada provide childhood vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and more diseases in order to protect children and the population at large.

Do You Need Adult Booster Shots?

As London Drugs pharmacist Gianni Del Negro notes in the video below, childhood immunizations do not always provide lifetime immunity. It’s important to check your vaccination history to see if you need any adult booster shots.

How do you know if you need additional vaccinations? It’s okay if you can’t find your childhood immunization records. Thanks to provincial vaccination schedules, your pharmacist or doctor can figure out when you last received various vaccinations and whether you’re due for more.

If you’re a parent, keep track of your child’s immunization records. They may be required when registering your child for daycare or school.

Recommended Vaccinations for Adults

Some immunizations are recommended for adults

Some vaccinations are recommended for every adult, like diphtheria and tetanus. Booster shots for those diseases are recommended every 10 years. Others, like the shingles vaccination, are recommended for adults over 60.

Other vaccinations may be recommended by your pharmacist depending on your travel plans, lifestyle, or age. If you like to garden, for example, it’s important to get a booster shot for tetanus. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, you may need a booster for pertussis.

And everyone should be getting their flu shot every year!

You don’t necessarily need to see your doctor to see if you need any additional immunization. Visit London Drugs and talk to a pharmacist. They can check your immunization status and, depending on what vaccines you may need, give you your shots in store.

To check your immunization status or learn more about adult vaccinations, visit your local London Drugs pharmacy.

3 Ways Getting the Flu Shot Can Save Lives

Since diseases cross local and national boundaries, vaccinating anyone, anywhere in the world, benefits us all. Simply by getting a flu shot, you can make a global impact, while taking care of your own health needs and potentially saving the lives of your loved ones and people in your own community.

Here’s how getting your flu shot at London Drugs can save lives.

1. Flu shots prevent the spread of potentially fatal illnesses to high-risk patients

To an otherwise healthy person, the flu may be nothing more than five days of feeling miserable, but it’s a genuine threat to the lives of high-risk patients. One of the best reasons to get the flu shot is not just to protect yourself, but to protect those who are most vulnerable such as newborns, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were 302 influenza-associated deaths and 5,176 hospitalizations last year. The more people who are vaccinated, the less chance of exposure to the disease and the fewer deaths and hospitalizations that occur.

2. Flu shots reduce the risk of life-threatening flu-related complications

Getting sick with the flu can put you at risk of getting other infections such as viral or bacterial pneumonia and flu-related complications such as asthma attacks. Getting the flu vaccine only takes a few seconds, yet it can have a big impact by protecting against these life-threatening and serious complications, especially for those who have compromised immune systems.

3. Flu shots provide lifesaving vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable children

For every flu shot administered at London Drugs this year, a lifesaving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to immunize children in other countries. Simply by getting this year’s flu vaccine at London Drugs, you can play active role in helping to save tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children from deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases.

The vaccination donation campaign is in partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), an online immunization advocacy and learning platform supported by the Province of British Columbia and administered by the Public Health Association of BC. Since 2016, I Boost Immunity has donated over 730,000 vaccines for children through UNICEF through various campaigns.

Flu shots are conveniently available seven days a week by appointment or on a walk-in basis at any London Drugs location. Learn more about getting the flu shot at London Drugs.

London Drugs host game-day flu shot clinic with BC Lions

We are teaming up with the BC Lions to offer flu shots at their upcoming home game this Saturday, October 6th, 2018. Pharmacists will be on site in the Terry Fox Plaza at BC Place between 2pm and 4pm, providing flu shots by-donation to those 5 years of age and older, with or without a game ticket. London Drugs will be matching all donations dollar-for-dollar, with proceeds supporting the BC Lions’ Courage for Kids program.

As an added bonus, for every flu shot administered on game-day, or at any London Drugs location from now until the end of flu season, a life-saving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to immunize children in another country. The vaccination donation campaign is in partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), an online immunization advocacy network.

There has never been a better time to get your flu shot. Not will you be protecting yourself and high risk individuals in the local community, but you will also be supporting two very important children’s charities. Win-win!

Flu shots are also conveniently available seven days a week by appointment or on a walk-in basis at any London Drugs location. To learn more about getting the flu shot at London Drugs, visit: LondonDrugs.com/flu.