There are many benefits to choosing a community independent pharmacy over a chain or grocery drug store.

Here are a few of them:

•Customer service and friendliness. According to  a Consumer Reports survey, 50 percent of people who fill prescriptions at an independent pharmacy said their pharmacist knew them by name compared to only 14 percent at a chain.

•Patient-centered focus. A smaller staff at independent pharmacies means the pharmacist could often be your cashier with more time to converse. It’s easier to access the pharmacist and you may be able to ask questions about your prescription without interrupting a busy chain pharmacist.

•Same day delivery. Most independent pharmacies have same day delivery to local customers at no cost.

•Custom prescription orders. As with delivery, some independents offer custom compounding and customer blend options, special packaging and special product ordering.

•Autonomy. Community pharmacist are usually owners. Decisions concerning product selection, billing, and policies and procedures are made locally and determined by local management, usually on the spot.

•Community pulse. Local independent pharmacists have their fingers on the pulse of the community and reach into the community as active participants in the health and well-being of their friends and neighbors. Many independent pharmacists are active  in local politics, clubs and community issues; they volunteer as coaches and for  non-profit organizations.

To learn more about the advantages for consumers of an indpendent pharmacy, read Douglas Hoey points out a number of advantages in his book “A Roadmap for Independent Community Pharmacist” and Lisa Gill’s 2018 Consumer Reports article ”Consumers Still Prefer Independent Pharmacies.”

All retail pharmacists and their staffs strive to provide superior prescription service.

Many community pharmacists are able to provide all the services described above and they work extremely hard for their patients/customers.  

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Independent pharmacies are an option we have not had in the Mount Washington Valley for some time and VIP, or Valley Independent Pharmacy, is poised to offer just that, an alternative, when it opens this spring.

The new independent pharmacy located 3 miles north of Memorial Hospital with a majestic view of Mount Washington at the scenic overlook, the office can be accessed on the Intervale Crossroads side of Cannell’s Country Store complex.

VIP provides pharmacy services in a quiet office setting. Its services include prescriptions, routine vaccinations and annual flu shots, COVID-19 vaccinations once available, medication therapy management, over-the-counter vitamins, CBDs, cough and cold, pain relief, canes, crutches home testing supplies and special ordering and packaging and more planned to meet the community’s needs.

VIP will offer refill reminders through text or call only if you request it and has paper-free options.

VIP is co-owned by pharmacists Janice Spinney, who will act as pharmacy manager, and Sejal Patel, who will be staff pharmacist. They urge new patients to call a few days prior to coming by for the first time to be sure the pharmacy has what they need in stock, and has contracted with their insurance provider.

Spinney and Patel describe their new business as a new pharmacy experience like an old-time mom-and-pop drug store and say they are looking forward to seeing old friends and new faces. Find out more on Facebook at Valley Independent Pharmacy.

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