Allergy Consults + Rx Prescribed & Covered by Insurance!

It’s that time of year again when you ask the age-old question… am I getting sick or is it just allergies?

Allergy symptoms can be very similar to those of a common cold, making it difficult to determine whether you’re coming down with an illness or experiencing allergies. Runny noses, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure are just some of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, commonly known as Hay Fever. During this time of year, the pollen from trees, grass, and ragweed can trigger Hay Fever as your body mistakenly identifies the pollen as a harmful substance. This triggers the release of antihistamines into your bloodstream, causing the reaction that leads to Hay Fever. For more severe reactions, your doctor may prescribe oral antihistamines or antihistamine nasal sprays. Alternatively, if you’re experiencing milder symptoms, your pharmacist may recommend over-the-counter antihistamines. However, these antihistamines can be expensive. That’s why Island Drug is here to help you feel your best during allergy season without breaking the bank.

Introducing our new allergy consultation service (part of our suite of clinical offerings), designed to save you a trip to the doctor’s office and provide you with fast relief at a lower cost compared to most over-the-counter allergy medications. After a consultation (covered by insurances Regence, Kaiser, United Health, First Choice, Premera, and more) with one of our pharmacists, you’ll receive a prescription (antihistamines/nasal steroids) that can be covered by insurance (way better to pay a generic copay than expensive Over-The-Counter prices) or a referral to the doctor of your choice if you have more severe symptoms. You can have your prescription filled at your favorite Island Drug location or sent to another pharmacy of your preference.

THESE CAN BE E-VISITS ANYWHERE IN WA, you do NOT have to be local to one of our locations

Scheduling an appointment is easy! Visit to schedule your same-day appointment and log into your HealthFile profile for convenient online check-in 30 minutes before your appointment. New users will be prompted to create a profile after scheduling their appointment to access the online check-in process. During check-in, you’ll fill out a questionnaire that will assist our pharmacist during your consultation. Your appointment will provide you with a one-on-one experience to discuss your symptoms and determine the best medication for your needs. If your symptoms qualify for our service, you’ll be eligible to receive a prescription that can be filled at one of our Island Drug locations or sent to the pharmacy of your choice, covered by most insurances. If you don’t qualify, we’ll gladly refer you to the doctor of your choice for further care. For added convenience, we also offer E-visits if you can’t make it to one of our locations.

This allergy season, Island Drug is dedicated to helping you feel your best with appointments that fit your schedule and providing the right medications at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t suffer from allergies any longer! Schedule your appointment today and say goodbye to discomfort and hello to relief!

Survey Results Are In!

As part of a commitment to excellence, we sent out a private, invite-only survey to tens of thousands we had the privilege of vaccinating over the last couple years.

An overwhelming 89% rated their vaccine experience as a 4 or 5 (light blue) out of 5!

While 83% rated our web and digital communications during the pandemic a 4 or 5 (light blue) out of 5.

The survey had other data we will take time to go thru including free text feedback. We look forward to reviewing closely and incorporating ideas moving forward. One of the perks of being a local pharmacy is adapting to our valuable customers.

The survey will still accept your response if you haven’t submitted yet. Just look for an email from in the month of January with the subject “IMPORTANT: Vaccine Follow Up for FirstName”. We want as much feedback as possible.

We fill prescriptions too!

Even though we are your Most Convenient Vaccination Destination, we can fill your prescriptions too.

If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join the many others experiencing the same great service from the vaccine rush as they do in the everyday prescription services.

You can request your Rx’s be transferred to us via this link or ask your doctor to send new digital Rx’s directly to our pharmacy team.

Combat Long COVID: from Brain Fog to E.D. — all need to go

I just feel a little off since COVID-19”.

This refrain is frequent during patient conversations in the pharmacy,

What is Long COVID?

A wide-ranging collection of symptoms make up Long COVID according to the NIH. Have a look at their breakdown by body area. Basically, it’s everything that can make you feel a little off after being infected by COVID-19.

The underlying culprit

“This study suggests that the molecular mechanism behind many Long COVID-19 symptoms stems from this persistent inflammation”1.

Many of the symptoms such as brain fog2, even all the way to erectile dysfunction tie to inflammation3.

“This can partly be due to the presence of microvascular involvement even in “silent” forms of COVID-19, or to the presence of chronic low-grade inflammation which can trigger symptoms of long COVID even in asymptomatic patients. The presence of these combined factors can potentially increase the likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction (ED) in COVID-19 long haulers (Figure 1)”4


An Antidote?

We’ve written below how we think of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as an inflammation antidote.

Can it apply to Long COVID as well? The studies seem to suggest, YES!

HBOT can help with brain fog5. Well brain fog relates to neuroinflammation6. And HBOT can be neuroprotective7 and anti-inflammatory as we have seen before.

HBOT can help with erectile dysfunction8. “HBOT may be a good alternative treatment or adjunctive treatment for erectile dysfunction.”

HBOT can help with many of the symptoms making up Long Covid9.

This study summarizes prospects this way:

“Long COVID-related fatigue can be debilitating, and may affect young people who were previously in economic employment. The results presented here suggest potential benefits of HBOT, with statistically significant results following 10 sessions.”10


We are proud to offer an accessible HBOT service.

Check out the details on our website and get started battling your Long Covid!

  9. covid%22 and %22hyperbaric oxygen%22

Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletions

Our pharmacist team will be focusing on this topic in 2023.

Certain medications and medical conditions coincide with lessened nutrient availability.

We will be reviewing and making general recommendations as well as recommending products. It will be an ongoing project and we appreciate your feedback or suggestions for additions to this list, please use the contact form below.

PLUS, products recommended come with a 15% OFF discount and can be shipped anywhere!

Here is more technical description of the depletion landscape:

Occurrences of drug-induced nutrient depletions are complex, resulting in inconsistent prevalence among patients taking the same medications with generally the same exposure.1 Nutrient depletions can occur from many pharmacologic treatments, and patients who take more medications may be more likely to have reduced levels of certain nutrients.1,2 While some nutrient depletions may be intentional (i.e., cancer treatments depleting folate), others may result in new comorbidities or unintended consequences.1,3,4 Often the mechanisms by which these depletions occur, and their subsequent outcomes, are not well understood.3 Although these nutrients are present in common foods, they are not present in sufficient levels or are present with bioavailability challenges.5 Therefore patients may require supplementation to avoid deficiencies.

US Pharm. 2019:44(12):18-24. emphasis added
Depletions Contact

Expanding $0 Vaccines Arrive Jan 1

Good News!

As part of the recent ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ we can report the following improved access to vaccines”

Starting in 2023, people with Medicare Part D drug coverage will pay nothing out-of-pocket for even more vaccines, including the shingles vaccine, that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.1

Which vaccines are recommended by ACIP?

The full adult list is found here.

Shingrix, the shingles vaccine, is one that is expensive and many plans didn’t fully cover. As of Jan 1, it goes to $0.

Many people will also be interested in Boostrix (Tdap) as that also often left out-of-pocket costs.

As always, we are proud of being your Most Convenient Vaccination Destination. Please come in any time and we can administer your vaccine. If possible please complete the intake form in advance,


Flu is Here — So is Nat’l Flu Vaccine Week

Its here early AND often.


Our region is currently among the highest nationwide.


Every year in December the CDC observes National Influenza Vaccination Week.

This year it happens to fall at an opportune time to remind those who haven’t had a chance to get a flu vaccine.

Even better CDC says this year’s flu vaccine appears to be a very good match to circulating strains.

We are proud to be Your Most Convenient Vaccination Destination and still have both the over and under 65 year old formulations in stock.

Simply fill out this web form at and head on in! Don’t worry if you’d prefer to fill out a paper form, we still have those in store as well.

We have rapid COVID/Flu tests as well. Those with symptoms qualify for FREE here


Join Our Team!

Springing into fall has been quite the adventure so far.

Increased demand for rx and vaccine services — both the new booster and flu shots — has stretched the capacity of our team.

This isn’t a unique happening.  More than three-quarters of community pharmacists say they are having a tough time filling open positions.

If you or someone you know wants be part of a dynamic team working hard to serve their community, apply today (either below or at ). We have openings for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants, and an administrative assistant. Full or part time.

This video is a preview of the team you are joining:

Job Application

Job Application

you can check multiple stores if flexible
Maximum upload size: 516MB


AS OF 1/15/2023 ALL STORES TRICARE CLAIMS ARE PROCESSING NORMALLY ONLINE. We are happy to welcome back those who were inconvenienced by this unwarranted service interruption. Simply click here to transfer your prescriptions back or have your doc send new ones over.

Well, that’s the way we see it.

Below is the back story — TRICARE moved to shrink its network disproportionately removing the ability for beneficiaries to choose local independent pharmacies.

Clinton and La Conner cannot process rx claims.

Our Oak Harbor location still has a contract that is processing claims though.

So, we will continue servicing vaccines and medications for TRICARE.

We will deliver Rx’s for Clinton and La Conner for pickup from Oak Harbor (this may take an extra day or so to arrive at the remote store).

VACCINES: we will still administer vaccines for TRICARE beneficiaries at all three locations.

Many parties are still trying to rectify this atrocious move by DHA. Here is an update on all the action from National Community Pharmacy Association:

NCPA October 24, 2022

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) is the latest to raise concerns with the Department of Defense over the new Tricare pharmacy contract that excludes most independent pharmacies. In a letter to Seileen Mullen, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Kelly requested immediate action so that Tricare beneficiaries retain access to retail and community pharmacies. Kelly’s letter follows bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill demanding answers from DOD and action to ensure beneficiary access, including letters from Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a letter signed by 100 members of Congress that was led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and a letter from House Armed Services Committee Member Mike Johnson (R-La.).

We will post updates here as they become available.

Original Post:

Many TRICARE beneficiaries have received letters like this.

Local Impact

How does this impact our region? A picture is worth a thousand words…

These are all the TRICARE addresses we proudly served since Jan ’21.

It is also an understatement as many of the vaccine only patients present Medicare cards, so those aren’t in this data set.

Why Did TRICARE Make These Changes?

Recently, the Department of Defense awarded a $4 billion contract to Express Scripts (to manage the prescription benefit) and at the same time reduced the size of the retail pharmacy network.

The Federal government has demanded a 33% reduction in its pharmacy network. Department of Defense leadership instructed Express Scripts to eliminate over 15,000 pharmacies from its current network.

Pharmacies directly contracted with Express Scripts were purposely not offered participation in this network for 2023. It is beyond unconscionable for the federal government to target community pharmacies in this severe restriction of provider access. This is a gross misuse of federal tax dollars paid by the very businesses being excluded.

This action will take pharmacy choice away from you, and from millions of other active and retired military and their families.

What are we doing

We are actively engaged with Senator Murray and Congressman Larsen’s office. They are working to gather information and see what can be done.

Senator Cantwell’s office has not replied (unfortunately).

UPDATE, here is a letter Congressman Larsen signed on to, waiting for Murray/Cantwell

What Can You Do?

  • Submit a complaint about your pharmacy of choice being excluded from the TRICARE network by calling 1-877-363-1303 or sending an email to Also mail a hardcopy of your complaint directly to:
    Defense Health Agency
    Pharmaceutical Operations Directorate
    7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
    Falls Church, VA 22042-5101
  • Contact your U.S. senators and representative. Look up their contact information here:

  • Share your story on social media, tagging @MilitaryHealth, @TRICARE, and @ExpressScripts in your posts.
  • Submit a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

Current Action

Please do not take any action on these notices at this time. As we are actively trying to achieve a resolution.

To be safe, if you are looking to get a COVID shot or any other vaccine, and only have TRICARE insurance, please come in before Oct 24 just in case there is a brief interruption.

We will have an update before the Oct 24 date. We have a backup plan in place to keep offering TRICARE beneficiaries the same access to generic medications here if there is an interruption.

Additional Thoughts

Our company has been serving those who serve for decades. In fact, this achievement was so noteworthy to our former owner, it was in his obituary:

“In 1986, Bill bought Island Drug in Oak Harbor, Wash. He added a number of innovative services, including a drive-up window, prescription delivery, nursing home consulting, compounding and homemade fudge. His was the first pharmacy on Whidbey Island to accept Champus Military Insurance, which was greatly appreciated by the families of the military personnel stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Express Scripts is contracted by DHA (Defense Health Agency). We are a sub-contractor of Express Scripts as they process electronic prescription claims, but they also compete against us by offering mail order services. But on a different playing field as the pricing to beneficiaries is vastly skewed in favor of mail. The playing field is set by the DHA contract.

Our message to DHA is two fold:

  1. Our role in the community is established after decades, and most recently in the vaccine rollout. Can you imagine if everyone but TRICARE beneficiaries were allowed to get vaccinated with us, the most accessible COVID vaccine site north of Seattle? This is a pic of just one week of vaccines provided during Spring 2021
  2. DHA should follow the message on the official @POTUS twitter account and NOT exploit community pharmacies. Rather, allow true competition and don’t force beneficiaries out of the local community and into certain national companies.

    TRICARE beneficiaries should hold the decision making authority on where they choose to access prescription benefits — on an even playing field.

Here is a video recap of the role we play locally.

“Thanks for Being Here” — Reflection & A Request

Being here may not be an option if the government separates us from our customers.