Just getting people in the door. People will fall in love with independent pharmacy if they just gave it a chance. It’s a little bit different but I think once they try it and see that we want to get to know them, and we will do whatever they need. Whether it be special orders, or whatever it is that's special about you, we’ll learn it and try to take care of whatever it is you need. Getting to know somebody is so important to us.
We’ve been with Mutual since day one, 1975. We’ve really grown as they’ve grown. My dad was on the board, now I’m on the board. Knowing the people that answer the phone is fantastic, it’s like they are a part of our team. Just the other day, our computer crashed. We called Mutual Drug and their IT guy was on the phone with us for over an hour, making sure it got up and running again. We started as a Mutual Drug member, never done anything else, and couldn’t be more grateful for their partnership.
The biggest challenge for me has been learning the business aspect of independent pharmacy. In school, the main focus is patient care, you don’t learn a whole lot about running an actual business so that has definitely been a learn as you go kind of thing.
Mutual Drug has been a surprising wealth of resources. There is always someone there to talk to. I know all the people who answer the phone by name. Everyone is very helpful and personable, very knowledgeable, and if they don’t know an answer they’ll get back to you right away. Mutual Drug doesn’t just look at us as another client. They realize that they are not just helping me as a business owner, but they also understand I’m trying to service my patients. They have the mindset that they are not just helping my customers, but theirs as well. They just really care.
When I started there were no generic drugs, they were all name brands, and everything was fairly affordable. Now we have bottles that are more than $6,000 for one bottle, and several versions for each type of drug.
I’ve been with Mutual Drug from the beginning. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. They’ve helped me with everything.
They help us with continuing education, just keeping abreast of all the new things coming out, and helping us find things at a cheaper rate. One of their account managers told us about diabetic shoes, and now they are some of our best sellers. Everything we do, they have a hand in it.
I grew up in Man and I’m proud to work here. It’s my home and I love being able to serve the community. I went to work for Eddie Merritt the original founder of the store when I first got out of college. His kindness and generosity have been the basis of our store culture. Our staff is a wonderful group of friends and there is tremendous support both in the workplace and in our personal lives. We also are very close with our customers and consider them an extension of our family. We continue to work together to ensure the success of the store in the face of competition from the chains and of course the PBMs.
One of the biggest things I noticed when I switched to Mutual Drug is my gross margins are now 3-5% higher which is great. My account manager has really been a partner to me and helps advise me on many aspects of the business beyond just purchasing. His guidance has been invaluable and he really understands independent pharmacy. It feels like every time I talk with Mutual Drug that I’m talking to friends. They are so easy to get along with and they really care about my business. It’s a nice change of pace for us to have a partner like Mutual Drug.
This is our hometown and the community has been incredibly supportive of us since we bought the store in 1985. In the face of what is going on in the industry today we are proud to be an independent pharmacy. The big box stores just don’t take care of people the way that we do, and I think that’s reflected in the patients we’ve had for so long. With the challenge from mail order and regulators, our success comes from delivering a personalized experience which has become such a rare commodity these days.
Mutual Drug is independent pharmacy. The profits from the chain stores go right back to the company but the profits from Mutual Drug go to us, the owners and that helps keep the money in the community that supports the store. They are a steady, reliable partner for us and if I need anything I pick up the phone and they fix it. Their pricing for generics is the best in the business and they always make sure I have the products I need. They care about us just like we care about our patients.
I started my career with CVS, but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted so I went to work for an independent. When I went to start my own pharmacy, I didn’t know everything but I told myself that I’m doing this no matter what it takes. Every customer that comes into my pharmacy is important and my staff and I try to make them feel that way. We are always adding new services which helps us stay relevant.
I wanted to build a relationship with Mutual Drug because they look a lot like me. They know independents and if I was a wholesaler they are who I would want to be. The customer service we get goes above and beyond anyone in the business and it has helped me grow. When we made the switch from a different wholesaler it was clear that Mutual Drug wanted to be our partner. They brought people in to stage an event for us and it kicked us off on a great path. The “Big 3” would never do that for me so now I’m a part of Mutual Drug and they’re a part of me.