Altus AFB pharmacy offers over-the-counter medication

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The Altus Air Force Base pharmacy is offering cold medication packs to help Airmen and medical staff all year long.

The pharmacy started this program in January 2017, 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 U.S. 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 approximately 70 people. It has also saved over $2 thousand 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,” said Johnson. “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, retiree’s, 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 U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Eric Williams, 97th MDSS NCO 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 Altus AFB pharmacy is able and ready to help Airmen and families stay healthy and stay strong.