Pharmacist: Janet Beard
Pharmacy: Harvest Drug and Gift
City, State: Wichita Falls, Texas
Current Position/Title: Pharmacist/Owner
How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist?
I graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1982 and have been a pharmacist for 34 years.
What led you to a career in independent community pharmacy?
When deciding on a career, I knew I wanted to do something that allowed for plenty of interaction with other people. I had a neighbor that was a pharmacist, whom I looked up to from a young age, who encouraged me to pursue the career. Pharmacy was also a good career for a woman, so that is where I decided to plant my roots. After graduation, I worked in both a retail store and a hospital, but my entrepreneurial spirit combined with the needs of the community, led me to opening my first store in Grandfield, Oklahoma in 1982. Since then, we have been fortunate to grow our business and relocate to Wichita Falls, Texas, where we have been in business since 2000.
It has been exciting for me to watch as numerous employees, now over twenty and counting, have decided after their time here to go pursue a career as a pharmacist, many of them deciding to practice in an independent community pharmacy.
What makes your pharmacy standout from the competition?
At Harvest Drug and Gift we set ourselves apart by setting exceptionally high goals for ourselves for quality of care and service.
As a pharmacy which fills compounded prescriptions in addition to traditional medications, we have always made patient safety our top priority. Our pharmacy voluntarily became PCAB (Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board) Certified long before it was the norm for a compounding pharmacy to pursue any kind of accreditation. This involved a significant amount of expense and effort on our part, but it was worth it to ensure that our pharmacy was being held to the highest standard possible.
On top of pursuing a high standard of safety and quality, we also choose to seek out those problems which other pharmacies may not be as well equipped to handle. For example, we often prepare specialized compounds for children with rare diseases that might not be effectively treated any other way. We are always willing to spend time on long phone calls, working with insurance companies and health care providers to find a solution that will be both effective and affordable to the patient.
It's not unusual for our pharmacy to receive requests from local healthcare providers to research a problem and come up with possible solutions. It is always exciting to put our expertise to work and assist more directly with the care of a patient. More than once we have been handed a patient with a stubborn medical issue, for whom no treatment has been successful, and within a couple of days we have developed and, after approval from the prescriber, dispensed a unique compound tailored to their needs. Few experiences in the practice of pharmacy are more satisfying than hearing a patient say "This is the first thing that has made me feel better in years!"
The one thing I take pride in more than anything else is that our pharmacy is truly a family owned and operated drug store. The next generation of pharmacists, our two sons and their wives, have been to pharmacy school and are now ready to help the store grow and thrive.
I am sure that they will continue our tradition of excellence into the future.
What are your biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is to stay current with the always changing developments in our field. We constantly are working to maintain high standards of quality and safety while at the same time working to comply with the rules established by regulators and insurance plans/PBMs. Joining together with other independent pharmacies has helped us with some of our purchasing and other business negotiations. For example, we have joined a cooperative buying group to help offset the rising costs of prescription drugs, by purchasing as a group we can get better prices than would be possible alone. To stay on top of ever changing regulations, especially in the compounding arena, we regularly attend seminars and workshops covering the latest updates to USP rules and how to best put them into practice.
Describe a recent, rewarding experience with a patient.
We recently helped a patient who presented with a decubitus ulcer which had not healed in over two years. The patient was being fitted for custom diabetic shoes, another service which we offer in our store. She showed the ulcer to our certified pedorthist who brought the issue to the attention of a pharmacist. After speaking with the patient and their doctor we were able to come up with a compounded solution which resulted in rapid improvements to the patient's condition. The patient was so excited that she took daily pictures and brought them in to the pharmacy for us to see. It was a wonderful experience to see our efforts directly resulting in the healing of a patient.
How has NCPA helped your business?
NCPA has helped our business by continually serving as an advocate and voice for independent pharmacists at the state and federal level. We, as an independent pharmacy, face similar obstacles and NCPA helps unite us to achieve our legislative goals. Through workshops and conventions, NCPA also provides an opportunity for networking and exchange of new ideas, which helps our business thrive.