Magazine article Drug Topics

You Can Draw Loyal Patients

Magazine article Drug Topics

You Can Draw Loyal Patients

Article excerpt

Dad, a lady called and wanted to know where she could find you. I didn't know what to tell her."

My 12-year-old daughter laughed. "Hey, Dad, I didn't know you were lost!" Too innocent to understand the underlying currents that are shifting drugstores and big corporations from a bunch of sneaky competitors to real professional institutions.

This has been going on ever since I changed pharmacies in January '96. I see people around town, and the ideas they have ... I've moved! I've retired! One person laughed, `I heard you took off and your wife didn't even know where you were. "

Immediately, I called the woman who thought I was lost. I heard a cheerful "Well hello, stranger." Then she said things that gave me a slow, warm sensation all over. I like being liked! i like it when people call me, "My pharmacist." I like it when they call my home to find out where I practice. I like it when they bring their prescriptions to me just because I've taken good care of them in the past.

"Jim, where are you?" Carol sounded like she'd found a lost cousin. "I kept going into the other drugstore, but you haven't been there. Today I saw that your license wasn't on the wall." I told her where I work now, made a date for the next day, and told her that I'd buy her a latte and muffin at the store's espresso bar when she came in. I've given enough good coffee to my clientele in the last eight months to fill a 10gallon can.

There is a secret being kept Some people don't want to know. Plagakis is gonna tell you! There was a time, before the explosion of third parties, when price was the essential reason for choosing a pharmacy. That was when the discount store owned the customers. The R.Ph.s behaved and obeyed. They redeemed $5-off coupons and promised to match any other pharmacy's lowest price. Pharmacy had sunk into shame . …

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