By Jeff LaBonte
Auburn Mass Daily
The community welcomed a new business to town on Wednesday, October 10, as Auburn Pharmacy and Home Health Care opened its doors for business at 689 Southbridge St, Auburn. The full-service pharmacy hopes to provide area consumers with another choice when it comes to their medications and health products.
Pharmacy manager Vrushank Patel knows a thing or two about running a pharmacy and the Auburn area; he was the pharmacy manager at the Auburn CVS, and worked as a district manager for CVS as well. In addition, Patel has the backing of an investor group operating several store a in the Connecticut area, and they believe they have a winner in the location here in Auburn.
Auburn Pharmacy carries a selection of Auburn and other novelty items [Jeff LaBonte photo]“For a town the size of Auburn, and with as much traffic, for there to be just one pharmacy here, we feel consumers need more options” said Patel.
Of course, locating directly across from CVS – the 800-pound gorilla in the pharmacy business – is no easy feat. Auburn Pharmacy believes they have just the niche to compete with the likes of CVS.
“Our goal is more patient-pharmacist interaction” said Patel. “We want to know our patients and help our customers, and not just be about numbers.”
Like most pharmacies, Auburn Pharmacy offers more than just prescription and over the counter medications. They also have a wide selection of health products such as braces, wraps, dental needs, and just about any other health product you might need. They also have a selection of greeting cards and gift wrap items, and a section of interesting unique gifts. They also carry a selection of Auburn and Auburn Rockets branded items.
Beyond the products they sell, Auburn Pharmacy offers several value-added services not usually available elsewhere in the immediate area.
“We offer free delivery, which not just convenient, but also very important for seniors and others who have transportation or mobility issues” said Patel.
Another valuable service for seniors or anyone requiring numerous daily medications is a product called Medicine-On-Time.
“These packaging products allow us to customize a patient’s prescriptions into an organizer that can be customized with a lot of information, even the patient’s photo” said Patel.
Auburn Pharmacy is also a compounding center, which can provide customized medications prescribed by a medical provider. Most commercial pharmacies are limited in their ability to fill custom prescriptions, and very few do it on site.
Patel is a 2008 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and he earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Worcester, Mass. He is excited to serve the Auburn community and build a successful store here, but just as important to Patel is helping to shape the industry.
“We as pharmacists also need to stand up for the profession” Patel said. “We are professionals with doctorate degrees, it takes 7-8 years of schooling to become a pharmacist. We are also fighting for provider status so that we can consult and even treat patients, things like vaccinations for example.”
To that end, Auburn Pharmacy included a private consultation area when they remodeled the building. This allows for pharmacists or technicians to meet with patients more privately, if they so choose. It could also offer treatment area in the future for procedures like vaccinations.
“We are striving for a custom business model with our pharmacy” said Patel. “We do not want to be a one-size fits all like the larger chains. We want to be open to our customers’ needs.”
Auburn Pharmacy is open Mon-Fri: 8:30a.m.-7:30p.m. · Sat: 9:30a.m.-4:30p.m. and· Sun: 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m. They are located at 689 Southbridge St., 508-832-6511, or visit their website at https://www.auburnrx.com/