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Clinic Pharmacy celebrates 15th anniversary

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By Joshua Shepherd

 

Larry Wiley, R.Ph., has watched the pharmacy business change a lot over the course of his 35-year career and most changes have been a huge benefit to the consumer. 

When he started working, he said that the vast majority of people paid cash for their medicines and only a small percentage had an insurance co-pay.

“These days, it’s just the opposite. Everyone has the same co-pay,” Wiley said.

In other words, there is very little difference in the price of medicine no matter if a person gets their prescription from one of the giant chain stores or the independent Clinic Pharmacy that Larry and Pat Wiley have operated for the last 15 years.

The only way that pharmacies compete these days is in the quality of their service, Wiley said. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the key behind the Clinic Pharmacy’s longevity is its quality service, he said. 

Born and raised in Cynthiana, Wiley earned his advanced degree as a pharmacist from Samford University in Alabama. But there was no question in his mind about where he would practice. He was going to return home. 

“I got into retail pharmacy because I like having a connection with the public,” Wiley said. He has been in the retail end of the business since  opening his first drug store in 1979.

Twenty years later, when the medical building was being constructed at Harrison Memorial Hospital, Wiley took a risk and invested in space to open a new pharmacy.

He was, in effect, starting over again and saddled himself with all the risks of starting another independent pharmacy at a time when giants like Walmart, Rite-Aid, Kroger, and Walgreen’s dominated the market. 

Though the location adjacent to many of the local physician offices may have presented a strategic advantage, the investment was still a risk.

Those who have worked with Wiley can testify that he is one business owner not afraid to embrace change. In fact, according to Pharmacy Technician Amber Hutchison, one of the hallmarks of the Clinic Pharmacy is its willingness to embrace new technology.

“A lot of times, we have been the first to implement new technology into our services,” Hutchison said. “We made the investment in electronic prescriptions almost from the moment it was introduced. We have kept up with improvements to insure that our customers’ information is secure.”

It is an unusual trait for a professional who has been in business for 35 years, but Wiley has always been willing to try new things, Hutchison said.

“With our online and electronic services, people no longer have to sit and wait for the prescriptions to be filled. Unless they want to visit. We always like people to visit with us at the store. But with the computer, we receive the script directly from the doctor’s office. Our policy is to call customers directly if they have not picked up their prescription 30 minutes after we’ve filled it,” Wiley said.

The pharmacy also makes use of QR readers so that patients can order a re-fill of their prescription just by taking a smart phone snapshot of the QR code on their medicine bottles and sending a text message of the image to the Clinic Pharmacy. 

For customers over 60, nursing home and assisted living residents, there is free delivery.

But just filling prescriptions and marketing medical supplies, such as custom fit diabetic shoes, are not the only ways in which Wiley has served his home community.

He has taken a keen interest in encouraging Harrison County’s young people to pursue a career in the health sciences.

Laura Espinola, who earned her doctoral degree (Pharm. D.) in the pharmaceutical sciences, was a former Clinic Pharmacy employee. Another former employee, Chelsea Wagner, went on to earn her degree as a registered nurse.

The 15-year celebration at the Clinic Pharmacy will be a low key affair, much in keeping with the Wileys’ personalities. 

There is an opportunity for new customers to win a $50 gas card and for existing customers to win a $100 gas card just by ordering a prescription. Those interested should contact the Clinic Pharmacy for details.

  For 35 years, quality service has been Larry Wiley’s first concern as a hometown pharmacist. Please join them in celebrating 15 years of service while they look forward to the changes that await local pharmacies in the future.