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Loss of small, independent pharmacies

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Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:46 am

While smaller towns still might retain their local pharmacies, they are an endangered breed in Madison. Not only has Walgreens expanded their presence, but industry giant CVS is making inroads. Independent pharmacies have been closing (or being bought out) throughout the metro area.

Ms Vilas and I quit Walgreens some years ago and switched to Neuhauser (on Monroe St.) Yes, they aren't as big as Walgreens or CVS and aren't opened late at night or on Sundays, but they offer much better service. We know the pharmacists and they know us. Ms Vilas recently had a total knee replacement and required extensive medication. A pharmacist called her at home to discuss her medication and possible interactions, giving her valuable advice. At Walgreens they would have just handed me a print out.

What drug store do other forons use?
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Donald » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:32 am

I have one prescription. I use Walgreens because they are close to home and to our regular grocery store. I'm not interested in personal attention. I want to be a number.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby narcoleptish » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:46 pm

I go to Mallatt on Williamson when need be. I picked them because I'm in that immediate area several times a week for work, but I also liked the idea of a local place. While I'm not looking for long meaningful conversations with my pharmacist, I'm still one of the increasingly rare members of society who enjoys live human interaction in my day to day life.

I pick up a lot of medicine for my parents at Walgreens at E Wash/Johnson and the pharmacy people there are excellent. Pharmacist Greg has caught mistakes in mixing meds that the doctors didn't and has always given my parents the best service. They love him. So there are some good people at the bigger places. I think the impersonal nature of the service at some places has as much to do with oblivious phone talking, earbud wearing customers who treat service people like an ATM, as it does with the employees themselves.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:54 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:At Walgreens they would have just handed me a print out.
And asked if you had any questions and happily answered them if you did (and yes, I have done this before over the phone from home when I needed to.) Which isn't to say that you are not getting more personalized service elsewhere, and I'm not in any way trying to dissuade you from going wherever you feel most comfortable, but I think you're just making unfounded assumptions about the quality (or lack thereof) of pharmaceutical care at Walgreen's.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Stebben84 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:13 pm

I don't have any meds...yet, but my mom used Walgreens. She had great customer service and the pharmacist new her personally. They were even helpful through the drive through and she had a shit ton of medications from heart surgery. My mom was a pretty demanding customer and I saw the interactions with the pharmacist and they were great. That said, I know these big box stores can suck, but it doesn't mean the people who work there do.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Average Joe » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:40 pm

Bergmann's in Middleton just closed up shop. I was hoping the new Senior housing complex built next door would have saved them, but I guess it was too late with CVS a block away.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Stu Levitan » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:00 am

Mallatt's on Monroe.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:39 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Mallatt's on Monroe.

Mallatt's has gone big to survive. They bought out other little independents. There are now four Mallatt's throughout the area.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby zelda » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:33 am

I use Community Pharmacy just off State St. The people are consistently pleasant and very good about explaining anything you need/want to know about medications.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Mean Scenester » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:25 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Which isn't to say that you are not getting more personalized service elsewhere, and I'm not in any way trying to dissuade you from going wherever you feel most comfortable, but I think you're just making unfounded assumptions about the quality (or lack thereof) of pharmaceutical care at Walgreen's.

^ This.

I'm on a number of prescription meds from now until the end of time (my time, anyway) and I've always gotten excellent service from the Walgreen's down the block. Plenty of questions asked and answered. Good for Neuhauser that they caught the potential interaction but, in this age, computers will red-flag those too and, frankly, I think I'd reserve my concern for the physician who didn't than some speculation about how a big box wouldn't.

It would be nice to have a local shop to support all my needs, but welcome to reality. I'm just not about to drive 15 minutes each way every time I need to refill a friggin' prescription. And the fact you can renew them at all hours with Walgreen's automated phone system is a huge convenience when you're saddled with a handful of the damn things. Nice too that I can grab a gallon of milk or laundry detergent, etc. in a pinch and save myself an extra trip somewhere.

Honestly, I could give a fuck if my pharmacist knows me by name. Just be detail oriented and helpful, please.

Now talk to me about the demise of the mom 'n' pop guitar shop and you'll hear a different opinion because Guitar Center really SUUUUUUUCKS.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby mifflander » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:35 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:Mallatt's on Monroe.

Mallatt's has gone big to survive. They bought out other little independents. There are now four Mallatt's throughout the area.

You refer to Walgreen's and CVS yet claim Mallat's has gone "big" because it has four whole stores (in 3 different communities)? You make it sound like there is something wrong with what Mallat's is doing. Would you prefer those small pharmacires not be bought out by another, not quite as small, local, independent pharmacy?
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:07 pm

mifflander wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote:Mallatt's on Monroe.

Mallatt's has gone big to survive. They bought out other little independents. There are now four Mallatt's throughout the area.

You refer to Walgreen's and CVS yet claim Mallat's has gone "big" because it has four whole stores (in 3 different communities)? You make it sound like there is something wrong with what Mallat's is doing. Would you prefer those small pharmacires not be bought out by another, not quite as small, local, independent pharmacy?

You misrepresent my intentions. I just wanted to point out what an independent pharmacy had to do to survive.

BTW my original example, Neuhauser, is the oldest pharmacy still operating in Madison. Founded in 1916.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:56 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:You misrepresent my intentions. I just wanted to point out what an independent pharmacy had to do to survive.

BTW my original example, Neuhauser, is the oldest pharmacy still operating in Madison. Founded in 1916.

Most independent pharmacies have / had a sideline of selling greeting cards, light groceries, snacks, supplies and other sundry items. I think that's where Walgreens and CVS REALLY killed them, when they started opening their superstores that bridge convenience stores and full-fledged supermarkets.

Mallatt's is a unique bird in that their sideline, along with the above, is their costume trade. They've pushed that odd combination, where neither one business could survive on its own, into a viable business model.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Broadsheet » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:57 pm

I have immense regard for the Community Pharmacy, known for years as the WSA Community Pharmacy (maybe it still is technically), created by the Wisconsin Student Association and once located in a basement down an alleyway and under Oriental Specialties. It is one of several alternative services begun in the 1970s that still survives and serves, along with Union Cab, the Willy Street Co-op., the Blue Bus STD clinic, WORT, Isthmus, and Common Wealth Development, to name just a few.

From the beginning, the Community Pharmacy could be trusted to give sound pharmaceutical services and also be a no-bullshit source of everything involving sexual health, from contraceptives to crabs and information on gay sex. It also offered the full spectrum of alternative and organic herbal medicines and supplements. It has supported both sound minds and sound bodies.
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Re: Loss of small, independent pharmacies

Postby Xiao Mao » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:16 pm

Broadsheet wrote:I have immense regard for the Community Pharmacy, known for years as the WSA Community Pharmacy (maybe it still is technically), created by the Wisconsin Student Association and once located in a basement down an alleyway and under Oriental Specialties. It is one of several alternative services begun in the 1970s that still survives and serves, along with Union Cab, the Willy Street Co-op., the Blue Bus STD clinic, WORT, Isthmus, and Common Wealth Development, to name just a few.

From the beginning, the Community Pharmacy could be trusted to give sound pharmaceutical services and also be a no-bullshit source of everything involving sexual health, from contraceptives to crabs and information on gay sex. It also offered the full spectrum of alternative and organic herbal medicines and supplements. It has supported both sound minds and sound bodies.


Yes, yes! Community Pharmacy is my pharmacy. I love the folks that work there; Thrifty Thursday, and the bulk herb apothecary. They are very knowledgeable about things. :D
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