The Importance of Independent Pharmacies

By: Danielle Lane  |  March 13, 2022

By Danielle Lane, Managing Editor

My earliest memories are of sitting around my grandmother’s dining room table and listening to my uncles talk about work. Hearing them speak lovingly about their customers and laugh until they cried about the ridiculousness of business gave me a deep insight and appreciation for  not only the type of men that my uncles are but also for the absolutely crucial role their business plays in serving the community. My uncles run an independent pharmacy in Canton, Ohio. For almost 60 years, Davies Pharmacy has stood as the core pillar of my family and the community it serves.

Growing up, I took for granted the care my grandfather and my uncles gave to their work. I assumed all businesses, especially pharmacies, were essentially run the same and that all families must be having similar dinner time conversations as my own family had. I have come to realize that that is not the case. There’s a certain love and devotion that independent, family-run pharmacies provide for their community that a big chain corporation simply does not.  

Pharmacists know the intimate details of individuals they serve. They know their health needs and medical conditions of their family and community. They take a genuine personal interest in the well being of their customers and routinely go out of their way to ensure the best possible care for everyone who walks into their store. When an individual is visiting their local pharmacy it is typically due to the fact that they are in a vulnerable position. Whether they are picking up a routine prescription for an ongoing health issue that they are in the midst of dealing with or when they have recently started feeling unwell and require immediate care to alleviate their symptoms, individuals visiting a pharmacy require a level of compassion that only independent pharmacies can provide. 

On many occasions, I have been loitering around my family’s pharmacy and have seen the way my uncles and cousin, who now works alongside his dad and uncle as the third generation to work in the store, engage with customers, new and old, as if they are members of the family. There is a profound love between my family and the customers who walk in, a deep profound desire to serve and heal in any possible way. Everyone who walks through the door of the pharmacy is greeted by name and cared for with respect and dignity, regardless of whether they are picking up Tylenol for a headache or pain medication to treat the effects of chemotherapy. Watching my family treat customers with boundless respect has taught me the crucial lesson of in a world where you can be anything, be kind. My family’s independent pharmacy provides a level of compassion that is lacking in big chain pharmacies.

If personalized care isn’t enough of a reason to convince you to switch to an independent pharmacy, then maybe saving money on your prescriptions will. When you engage with an independent pharmacy, the pharmacist will take the time to work with you to lower the cost of your medication by working with your doctor and insurance as well helping you find coupons that will bring down the cost of your medication. Large national chain pharmacies order their medications in bulk and charge a premium price whereas independent pharmacies work hard to keep their prices as low as possible due to the fact that their loyalty lies with the customer rather than the medication manufacturers. 

Independent pharmacies focus on individualized patient care which leads to better-informed patients, a stronger sense of community, and better service when you need it most. Our independent pharmacies need our support, but our communities need the support of independent pharmacies as well. 

I hope the next time you need a prescription filled, you will consider sending it to your local independent pharmacy; I promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re ever in Canton, Ohio, stop in my favorite pharmacy and say hi!