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Over the last decade, more patients are taking a proactive approach to their health and wellness, especially as resources like the Internet have become more readily available. However, the knowledge these sources offer may not always be credible, and this is where independent pharmacies can step in and offer a valuable service to members of the community who want to improve their lifestyles with vitamins and supplements.
Between herbal powders and pills that claim to block UV rays, there are hundreds of manufacturers that are clamoring to create the next “trendy” vitamin or supplement that will grab consumer attention. Pharmacies like B&J Pharmacy in San Marcos, TX, have stepped up to offer knowledge and wellness solutions their patients can trust. The pharmacy has expanded its services to include nutritional supplements and consultations that give patients a complete look at their overall wellness.
John Anderson, owner of B&J Pharmacy, oversees the day-to-day operations as a pharmacist. Once a week, he sets aside an entire day to offer nutrition-based consultations to his patients. These “brown bag visits” allow patients to bring all of their prescriptions and their supplements so John may examine them for potentially negative interactions, then offer recommendations based on his knowledge of both medicine and nutrition.
After 10 years of being a pharmacist, John realized he wanted to take a different approach to patient care. “Once you start taking prescription drugs, you typically don’t get better. You just get worse,” John observes. He finds this to be particularly true in the elderly, and researchers prove that nearly 46% of seniors between 70 and 79 are on 5 or more medications. This desire to broaden his patients’ options prompted him to enroll in the International American Academy of Clinical Nutrition where he earned his clinical nutrition certification. Twenty-five years later, John and his staff have helped people all across the south central region of Texas find the solutions they need.
John has offered nutrition-based services for over two decades, and he still continues to gain new customers and maintain his business. Rather than see a dip in profits after alleviating illnesses and symptoms, he sees growth. “The classic scenario is somebody gets better, and then they refer people.” John says. “I see new people every day.” Because modern dietary habits and farming practices deplete nutrients from food, everyone may experience some sort of deficiency. However, not all supplements are ideal for replenishing the lack of vitamins and nutrients. Dyes, sodium lauryl sulfate, pharmaceutical plastics, and preservatives are a few of the ingredients found in the supplements sold by big-box stores. Through his certification and years of experience, John is able to recommend quality, food-sourced supplements to his customers that will give them better, more noticeable results.
It may seem untraditional, but adding nutrition-based consultations to the pharmacy’s services offers complete, well-rounded care to patients. “The results really speak for themselves. I generate just as much revenue in my front-end as I do my pharmacy” John says. “It’s a business model that both helps the pharmacy and helps your patient population. I can’t say it any simpler than that.” As patients continue to seek preventative solutions in lieu of prescriptions, independent pharmacies can take this opportunity to expand their services and continue to be the community’s trusted knowledge source for all aspects of health.