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Why Paper Pharmacy Bags Remain Crucial to the Modern Pharmacy

September 26, 2018

Unless you've never been sick in your life, you're already well acquainted with pharmacy bags. For those magical people who somehow aren't, the typical pharmacy bag is a simple paper product, usually emblazoned with the Rx symbol (meaning "prescription"). Customarily, the bag also includes some sort of customer service phrase like "thank you" to reinforce a pleasant experience. Here are some interesting points to keep in mind when shopping for prescription bags that can help you choose the right model for your pharmacy or simple help you gain appreciation for these understated, yet effective bags. 
Rx Bags Keep Your Prescriptions Private
If you're managing a pharmacy, having a supply of pharmacy bags on hand is essential for keeping up a sense of professionalism. Who's ever heard of a pharmacy where you have to walk back out to your car clutching a bare pill bottle in your hands? But paper Rx bags offer something even more crucial along with that professionalism: privacy. Most people like to keep their illnesses under wraps, whether that be among friends or strangers. A wide range of afflictions could be deemed embarrassing so it's nice to have a simple paper bag to maintain discretion. 
Not to Be Confused With Those Other Pharmacy Bags
Prescription bags are traditionally made from paper and should not be confused with the hanging plastic prescription bags you'll often see behind the pharmacy counter. Those clear prescription bags are not meant to provide any sense of discretion but are rather intended to help pharmacists sort through and properly organize the vast amount of prescriptions to which they attend on a daily basis. Strict state and federal regulations dictate how these hanging plastic pharmacy bags are used in certain cases, such as whether prescriptions for two related patients can be stored in the same bag. In some instances, pharmacists opt to use plastic storage bins to organize the medications in their paper Rx bags. While both the plastic hanging bag and the paper bag can be referred to as pharmacy bags, they each serve completely different purposes. Again, you'll be hard pressed to find an Rx bag made from any material other than paper, which fits nicely with states that have instituted a ban on plastic bags, such as California. 
Customizing Your Prescription Bags
While generic paper pharmacy bags are the status quo, it is possible to go the extra mile and have your Rx bags customized. A lot of larger drug stores take advantage of custom pharmacy bags as a means of reinforcing their brand to their customers while also spreading their logo to anyone who should see the bags. That doesn't mean this marketing tool is limited to the big guys. Customizing your prescription bags will obviously cost money though, so it's important to do a little research to determine if it's a smart branding move for your particular business. 
Not Just for Pharmacies
Prescription bags aren't just for the pharmacy. They're great for dentist offices, veterinarians, and all manner of doctor offices, since all of these establishments can send you home with samples of medicines if not the full prescribed dose. Who could ever forget coming home from the dentist's office as a kid with a little toothbrush, travel size floss and mini mouthwash bottle in that all-too-familiar paper bag?
It's easy to take prescription bags for granted since, for most of us, they've been around as long as we can remember. However, we shouldn't forget the important purpose they serve that still keeps them a staple of the modern day pharmacy. Whether you're picking up one pill bottle or a series of vials, you can rest assured that the trusty Rx bag will keep your prescriptions a secret.