AVONMORE — Avonmore Pharmacy may be less than a year old but it’s already got that old-fashioned sense of customer care and service in sync with its small-town environment.
And it begins with new pharmacy manager John Potros. Since joining the operation on Avonmore’s main corner two months ago, the pharmacist has made a point of memorizing each of his client’s medications as a first step for excellent service.
“Because we’re are a small town, we know the patient and their medications by heart, and we know the habits of the patient,” says Potros, emphasizing that he sees his patients as “family.”
He takes pride in the personalized attention he gives when arranging customers’ prescriptions into “compliance packs” — those daily compartmentalized pill holders that are a staple of life for many seniors as they reach their golden years (such packs are offered free at Avonmore Pharmacy). With a friendly smile from behind the counter, he makes a point of telling the client about the reasons for the timing and placement of certain medications in their daily and weekly schedule.
As their pharmacist, Potros explains, he’s responsible to ensure each drug in the pack is timed to not counteract other medications, while further optimizing customer comfort by minimizing side effects — for example, by ensuring that stimulants aren’t taken before going to bed.
While this is the duty of every pharmacist, not every shop has the time to communicate with clients about such details as Avonmore Pharmacy does, he asserts.
“I can spend more time checking the client’s medication profile,” he says. “I can tell our patients, what is the benefit for using this one? Choose which is the best time for them to take a medication, and choose for them the best day and the right way.”
Free compliance packs
Along with free delivery, compliance packs are free at Avonmore Pharmacy (with purchase of medications); two popular compliance-pack or ‘dosette’ types are on offer: a newer blister-pack style, and a more conventional plastic version with flip-up lids. In both cases, the compliance pack includes an integrated document listing drug identification numbers, names of prescribing doctors and the dispensing pharmacy.
As one benefit, paramedics and hospital emergency room staff get quick, efficient access to a patient’s medication profile in the event the client has a medical emergency. It also eases vacation crossings over the Canada-U.S. border, adds Potros, who happily takes the phone calls of border officials that occasionally check in to verify the information on his clients’ medication.
Free medication delivery
Carrying the Remedy’sRx brand, Avonmore Pharmacy delivers client medication to an area from Casselman to Chesterville to Avonmore to Moose Creek and Monkland, and many points in between — a service especially valued by the senior population during the winter. “We offer this service free for our patients,” says the pharmacist, adding the delivery area may expand as demand warrants.
“We’re growing with our local community here, and we’re planning to grow event more. Our object is patient satisfaction,” he remarks.
As part of the drive to satisfy, the operation offers blood-pressure and blood-sugar tests at no charge. “We do the readings for our patients for free.”
And next month, Potros will begin administering 13 OHIP-funded vaccinations on the premises as well. That includes the seasonal flu shot, pneumonia and a range of other inoculations he’s now certified to inject. He points out that some vaccines — including flu — are also available in an inhaled version that’s good for small children.
Simple to switch prescriptions to Avonmore Pharmacy
Are your prescriptions currently handled by another pharmacy? No problem, the pharmacist and his assistant at 3287 Main Street in Avonmore are at your service. “Transferring prescriptions is easy,” he says.
The store stocks the regular array of retail and over-the-counter items and gift ideas expected of a pharmacy. Patrons can also look forward to 20 percent off sales around Halloween and Christmas.
Avonmore Pharmacy Remedy’sRx opens at 9 a.m., Monday through Saturday (until 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; and 1 p.m. Saturday.)
Since opening its doors this past January, the store’s winning combination has proved a natural fit for Avonmore — with the village’s medical clinic and retirement residence both in close proximity.