ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE — The base pharmacy is offering cold medication packs to help airmen and medical staff all year long.
The pharmacy started the program in January, with the idea that patients experiencing allergies, common cold or flu symptoms should be able to get medication without needing a doctor visit.
“There are over-the-counter medications you can get without a prescription,” said Air Force Capt. Michael Johnson, 97th Medical Support Squadron pharmacist. “Previously, to get those here, you had to go to a provider, make an appointment, go through the time of getting seen — it was a little bit of a pain to patient care. We wanted to be able to offer some of these over-the-counter medications that a pharmacist is fully qualified to determine for a patient.”
To date, this program has already helped about 70 people. It has also saved more than $2,000 within the first two months. However, there are qualifications that need to be met to be eligible to receive a cold medication pack.
“For those under the age of 16, over the age of 65, on flying status or with chronic conditions, we prefer that they go the extra step and let their doctors know,” Johnson said. “The focus of this is primarily to our younger generations, especially in our active-duty members to free up some of their time. However, if they are within these criteria, we’ll treat them.”
The pharmacy is open to military members, retirees, as well as military families so they can receive needed medication.
“If we have a member down range, they should have the confidence to say to their family, ‘Go to the clinic, get seen, then go to the pharmacy’,” said Tech Sgt. Eric Williams, 97th Medical Support Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of the base pharmacy. “Our main job is to make sure our members have the medications they need to stay strong. We want to make sure deployed members know their families are taken care of too.”
With cold and flu season in full swing, the staff at the base pharmacy is able and ready to help airmen and families.
Reach Airman 1st Class Jackson N. Haddon at 580-481-7700.