Chang­ing role of the phar­macy

Medicine Shoppe adopts new look as phar­ma­cists’ du­ties con­tinue to ex­pand

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS SHAN­NON cshan­non@cb­

Medicine Shoppe adopts new look as phar­ma­cists’ du­ties con­tinue to ex­pand.

Hugh Toner de­cided to switch up the con­cept of what’s been con­sid­ered the stan­dard in re­tail phar­macy for decades.

When the for­mer Co-op gro­cery store, in which his Medicine Shoppe phar­macy was lo­cated, was sold on Prince Street in the sum­mer, he had de­ci­sions to make.

The re­sult was to re­place the loud, some­times chaotic at­mos­phere of a gro­cery store, with one that re­sem­bled more of a clin­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment of a doc­tor’s of­fice.

Tile floor­ing was re­placed with car­pet, and the space was dou­bled to about 2,600 square feet. His other Medicine Shoppe phar­macy re­mains at its Kings Road lo­ca­tion.

The ex­tra room has al­lowed for a sit­ting area at the front of the store with a tele­vi­sion, which will be used for pre­sen­ta­tions on top­ics rang­ing from nu­tri­tion to men­tal health.

There’s also a spa­cious area be­hind the counter, giv­ing more room for phar­ma­cists and two large coun­selling rooms for pri­vate one-on-one con­sul­ta­tions.

One of those rooms is fash­ioned like an ex­am­in­ing room at a doc­tor’s of­fice. It has a sink, cab­i­net and counter space, along with the typ­i­cal of­fice desk and chairs.

Toner said phar­ma­cists are tak­ing on more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that used to be ex­clu­sively in the hands of physi­cians, such as ad­min­is­ter­ing the flu shot.

“We built this store for the fu­ture,” he said. “Phar­ma­cies are now giv­ing out vac­ci­na­tions and ( flu shots).

“The role of a phar­macy has been ex­pand­ing over the years, and in the fu­ture we don’t know what else will be added so we added a sink to one of the coun­selling rooms. It’s not some­thing you see in many phar­ma­cies.”

New ser­vices as part of the re­vamped phar­macy in­clude a methadone main­te­nance pro­gram.

Re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts will be able to get their methadone dose at the Medicine Shoppe be­hind a pri­vacy screen.

He said adding the ser­vice will take some pres­sure off other clin­ics that of­fer methadone treat­ments.

The rapid ac­cess clinic at the Ally Cen­tre on Bentinck Street op­er­ates a methadone pro­gram for the Nova Sco­tia Health Author­ity, as do other phar­ma­cies in the Sydney area.

The phar­macy will also in­tro­duce the Ideal Pro­tein weight loss pro­gram, and the Sig­varis sup­port stock­ings for vari­cose veins.

“We’re open to all new ser­vices. As we go we’re just go­ing to build, get a solid base and build on that,” said Toner.

He said store hours have been ex­tended into the evening on Tues­day and Thurs­day, and longer hours on the week­end for the con­ve­nience of more cus­tomers.


Medicine Shoppe phar­ma­cist-owner Hugh Toner opened his newly re­lo­cated phar­macy on Wel­ton Street on Nov. 16. It was pre­vi­ously lo­cated in the for­mer Co-op store on Prince Street, which has since been sold to Pro­to­case Inc., a Sydney-based man­u­fac­turer...

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