DEMOTTE, Ind. — Fagen Pharmacy was able to overcome obstacles stemming from a devastating fire by rebuilding and reopening its North Valparaiso, Ind., pharmacy in September 2015.
“We had so much community support behind us that it kept us going through all the challenges,” comments founder, president and chief executive officer Gerald Fagen.
Last year was also one in which the Fagen MedSync medication synchronization program began launching with a few test stores and then by September had rolled out to all 24 locations.
In another initiative, Fagen Pharmacy partnered with police departments in Porter County, Ind., to provide a naloxone program that enabled law enforcement personnel to be able to save lives of people who overdosed on heroin by essentially jump-starting the nervous and respiratory systems.
Although prescription margins have continued to decline — especially with Medicare Part D plans — the retailer continues to make progress in the pharmacy, with immunization programs conducted by pharmacists and the opening of a state-of-the-art compounding laboratory, providing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) testing, consultation and therapy.
“We have two pharmacists certified, and we also have a doctor in once a week that specializes in BHRT,” says Fagen.
Diabetes education classes are also popular.
The retailer, which operates stores in Indiana and Illinois, designed and implemented its own “just in time” inventory program, which enables it to manage turns in the pharmacy better.
Like many merchants, Fagen Pharmacy is capitalizing on consumer interest in social media, notes director of marketing and media Melissa Fagen.
“Facebook is a great adventure,” she says. “It can be a lot of fun to connect with existing and potential customers this way. Many people prefer to ask questions online instead of calling their nearest store.”
Fagen Pharmacy, meanwhile, recently captured local media attention when its store in Valparaiso, Ind., opened a depot site for Indianapolis-based The Milk Bank, a nonprofit organization that provides breast milk to neonatal intensive care units across the Midwest.
“Knowing this would help sick and premature babies, we thought this would be a great community asset,” says Sandy Vanderploeg, a registered nurse with Fagen Pharmacy, who points out that the depot’s first donor was actually a Fagen pharmacist.