Community Pharmacy Ormond Beach

Where Patient Care Begins

Community Pharmacy Ormond Beach focuses on providing the best possible patient care in the community. Owner Kalpesh Patel lives his life by the values that his grandparents taught him. They taught him to help people and he does just that with his independent pharmacy. IPC recently spoke with Patel about his goals as a pharmacy owner.

IPC:

Why did you open an independent pharmacy?

Patel:

“I started my pharmacy in 2013. I wanted to make a difference in healthcare and that’s why I opened my own pharmacy. I will always be there for my community. I host Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s dinner for my patients. I host brown bag events where I invite my patients to come in and I go through their medications, verify their possible prescription and drug interactions. If they are diabetic, I educate them about diet, how to take medication on time, and compliance which helps reduce their hospital visits. I do this every three months for my patients. My patients are very loyal to me. My pharmacy is only open Monday through Friday. Some of my customers that need medicines will wait until Monday morning because they do not want to give business to big companies, they would rather give the business to me.”

IPC:

What kind of services does your pharmacy offer?

Patel:

“We offer mail delivery, delivery, and consultation, off-site consultation, and bubble packaging. We assist patients if they cannot afford the medication, we will call the case manager. There are many programs that can help get a patient their medication. We do all the stuff that we can to help the patient, so that they can take their medicines. We work with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army pays 50 percent of the medicine for certain patients and I cover the rest; the patient does not have to pay. I offer home consulting. If someone has a question on medication, I will spend time discussing their medicine in their home. I also help my community on the weekends with blood drawings and health care events.”

IPC:

How do you market your business in the community?

Patel:

“I like to do things differently than other companies. I never mail a postcard, coupon or anything. I do not use social media. I run my business as they did in the old days by word of mouth. Whoever comes into my pharmacy, I treat them like family. I form good relationships with the doctors and local churches. I give the local churches a donation every few months. You have to have involvement in the community.”

IPC:

What are some of the challenges that you face?

Patel:

“Right now it is the reimbursement from companies and PBMs. PBMs redirect the business from the customer to the chains. I lost 50 customers this week because of that exclusive deal with one of the chains. The patient does not have the freedom to choose where to go. There are a lot of challenges with prices and the primary wholesaler not giving you the better cost of goods. That is why I am with IPC. IPC offers better cost of goods. On brand, I get 4.5 percent and I also get next day shipping without any delay.”

IPC:

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in independent pharmacy?

Patel:

“Patient care is the most rewarding aspect of owning an independent pharmacy. I can spend more time with my customers. My customers are like my family. I used to work in big chains and there was no time to spend with the customers.”

IPC:

What have you learned by owning your own pharmacy?

Patel:

“At the end of the day, I own my business. I know how many people come into my store. I know my patients stories. I know if they are on a fixed income or if they have limited resources. You get a lot of experience talking to different people. Some patients, I even have them bring in their blood report. Today, I had a patient and I looked at his vitamin and bone density, and I gave him an herbal supplement. It makes a difference in their life and I feel good about it. It is a rare thing to take time to get to know a patient in this fast paced world.”

IPC:

Have you attended any of IPC’s events?

Patel:

“I attended the IPC conference for the first time this year. I loved the conference. I liked that there were less people, lots of good information and a personal touch. This is not like any other pharmacy conference. I am not going to go to any other pharmacy conference; I only will attend IPC’s Independent Pharmacy Conference because of the personal touch. The continuing education courses were my favorite part of the event. I really like the ‘Outside the Scope, A DEA Case Study,’ by Brian Rucker, IPC’s Director of Compliance. Brian is awesome. The IPC controlled substance team has a lot of good information on what is current. I nicknamed IPC, the ‘intelligent people company’.”

IPC:

What do you think of IPC’s Government Relations Efforts?

Patel:

“I really like the IPC’s Government Relations Team. When I attended the conference, I learned about everything the team is doing to help independent pharmacies and IPC is doing an awesome job.”

IPC:

Are you involved with Government Relations?

Patel:

“Yes, we write the congressman once a year through our dinner programs. We have a community get together and focus on the issues that we are fixing. This year we are going to have Marco Rubio speak as a guest. When I work with the government, I just tell them about the challenges that the patient faces so that government officials know about them.”

IPC:

What should other people know about your pharmacy?

Patel:

“The biggest thing is helping the community. We are here to help people. Right now medication is so expensive, many people need help. I had a customer come in today and she needed an inhaler but she is paid every two weeks and she did not have the money for her prescription. I gave her the medication anyway so she could feel better and you can just pay me back when your paycheck comes. Being in a health care business is different than other businesses. Yes this is a business but we are in healthcare. You can go to a gas station or a liquor store and if you don’t have the money the person won’t give you liquor and that’s understandable. But with a pharmacy, you are talking about a life and if the customer does not have the medication that can affect her life. So our main mission statement is to help the community.”