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.
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.
It was a lot of work to get my pharmacy off the ground and there was a lot I needed to learn. One of the things I have really focused on is connecting with patients and physicians and providing unique services to both.
I love the fact that I have Mutual Drug by my side as both a partner and a consultant. Their attention and customer service literally crushes everyone. I know as I am growing my store that Mutual Drug has my back. You can talk to people who are knowledgeable about the industry and will answer all of the questions you have. It’s the kind of service you just can’t find anywhere else.
When we were first getting started, cash flow was an issue as it is for most independent pharmacists and we had to learn how to run a business real quick.
Mutual Drug helped me with a line of credit and the rebates were great and that has made all the difference. Mutual Drug helped me when I needed it and I stay loyal to them because they have always been with me, through the hard times and the good. They have provided a lot of support for me whether I’m putting on an event, have a question about a product or need to get live continuing education. It’s good to be a stockholder in Mutual Drug because we’re all in this together.
I purchased a pharmacy that was already up and running so my challenge came in growing what was already established. Recently we have been hit with several regulatory issues including DIR fees and chargebacks which are facing the entire industry. I am fortunate to have a staff that is engaging in alternative revenue opportunities which has been great. Additionally, the fact that we do compounding and MTM has really set us apart from the chains.
The thing I like about Mutual Drug is that they make me feel like I’m the most important customer. My concerns are first and foremost I in their day-to-day activities. When I talk with them I usually hear back from them in an hour or so with my needs addressed. This is not only on the inside but also from the account managers who visit my store regularly. They're very efficient and I’m certain you don't get that from other wholesalers.
I first became interested in pharmacy when I was in high school working for a Mutual Drug store. I started out as a cashier, but learned very quickly how much our customers depended on their community pharmacy. They placed more trust in the advice of our pharmacist than their own doctor and they were so grateful for the services we provided. I remember one customer gave our pharmacist a treasured heirloom recipe as a gesture of appreciation, and I knew in that moment, that’s what I wanted to do as a career. Everything our pharmacy was able to provide for our community was because of the support they had from Mutual Drug.
Now, as a Mutual Drug store owner myself, my husband and I realize just how invaluable the insight we get from our account manager is. In this ever-changing environment, Mutual Drug knows the realities of modern pharmacy ownership and have done a phenomenal job giving us fresh ideas on ways to not just “get by,” but to thrive! Over the years, I’ve seen how Mutual Drug has grown, yet they still run their company how we run our business--Their staff know me and my employees by name, and we always have a point of contact for anything you can think of if it concerns running a pharmacy. Mutual Drug upholds our core values and they understand community is at the center for both of us. You can't get that level of service anywhere else.