Chatuge Pharmacy (Hiawassee, GA)

Located in Beautiful, Mountainous Hiawassee Georgia, Chatuge Pharmacy Caters to a Community Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

We recently had the chance to speak to Patty Wilson, who described how a former Medicine Shoppe was transformed into what is now Chatuge Pharmacy. This small pharmacy is nestled in the mountain town of Hiawassee, GA. The owners work hard to cater to the close knit community.

IPC:

Tell us about your relationship with IPC over the years.

Patty:

“I’ve only been buying from IPC for about a year, but I really like the company. You’re very dependable and you’ve added more recently to your stock and I love that.”

IPC:

What is the history of Chatuge Pharmacy?

Patty:

“I was a co-owner of the Medicine Shoppe, which was what the pharmacy started out as. We originally opened in September of 1995. We recently just finished a 20-year contract as Medicine Shoppe.”

IPC:

How active is the store in the community?

Patty:

“We are a retail pharmacy and we are 100 percent about our community. Right now we don’t have as many new things going on as we usually do because we had so much to do with the transition. We’ve always been a partner in education. We’re also a food bank drop off and donation collection site. We collect for Mission to Serve, a nonprofit that organizes collections for missionaries. We have a special collection area for needy people; we enjoy doing that sort of thing.”

IPC:

Can you tell me about the area and the community?

Patty:

“We’re here in the foothills of the mountains in Northeast Georgia. It’s a real close knit community where everybody knows each other. You know your neighbors name; you help them when they have a need. It’s completely a neighborly little town. It’s beautiful here; it’s a beautiful mountainous lake area.”

IPC:

What’s your background as an independent pharmacist?

Patty:

“The franchise is basically independent. We’ve considered ourselves an independent for twenty years. I was co-owner, now I’m pharmacy manager. I didn’t take the co-owner title because it’s not a franchise anymore. I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration and risk management insurance. I’m also a certified tech.”

IPC:

Are there any specialty services like compounding?

Patty:

“We offer limited compounding services and we have a diabetes certificate specialty so we do counseling. We also do Medication Therapy Management.”

IPC:

Are there any featured OTC items that you have in the store?

Patty:

“We are only 1000 square feet; it’s a very small store. We have health care products, we don’t stock gum or hairspray or anything like that.”

IPC:

What does it mean to you to be involved in independent pharmacy?

Patty:

“When you enter the pharmacy business, it’s for the customers. It’s not because of the paycheck, it’s about the community.”

IPC:

What items do you prefer?

Patty:

“Generics and I do like to buy some brands but mostly generics.”

IPC:

What are some of the reasons you buy from us?

Patty:

“The pricing, the services, online availability and access are all great. Your system is really smart. The sales team has always been very responsive.”