Community Pharmacist Spotlight Archive

Acacia Apothecary and Wellness

by NCPA | Apr 04, 2016

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Justin Brock, Pharm D

Pharmacist: Justin Brock, Pharm D

Pharmacy: Acacia Apothecary and Wellness

City, State: Tucson, AZ

Current Position/Title: Pharmacist/Owner

How many years have you been practicing as a pharmacist?
7 Years

What led you to a career in independent community pharmacy?
I was involved with NCPA during pharmacy school and a background in business before pharmacy school. This seemed like a good opportunity to use my background to complement my degree. After gaining experience as a leader in other compounding pharmacies, a PBM, an LTC pharmacy, and an outpatient pharmacy, I gained enough confidence to believe I could make it work. My wife and I began working on our business plan in 2013 and opened just over a year ago. It was a long process but it makes me value our success even more.

What makes your pharmacy standout from the competition?
Everyone will always answer this question with some sort of statement about providing great service. I think that it is easy to provide better service than the chain pharmacies, so this isn't the proper measuring stick. I've chased down FedEx trucks. I've driven 25 miles to deliver something last minute. I've come in on days we were closed to compound medications so patients can be discharged from the hospital. It is just what we do. When it is in our DNA, we often need to remind the staff that what we do is special, even if it might just be normal for us.

What are your biggest challenges?
Always doing the right thing when so many others don't. A mentor of mine told me years ago to always do what is right for the patient and the provider and you will make money as a byproduct of those efforts. In this day and age with the large chains and some other compounding pharmacies becoming more like manufacturers than compounders, it is frustrating that others don't have the same integrity.

Describe a recent, rewarding experience with a patient:
When we opened a year ago, our goal was to gain PCAB accreditation as soon as possible. We were able to gain that accreditation after only 4 months in business, one of the fastest new pharmacies to do that. With that goal in mind, we started from day one ensuring our processes were documented and adhered to. In only our second month, we sent some troches out to the lab for potency testing to validate our compounding process. We found that our hormone troches were testing a little lower than our 5% threshold and adjusted our processes accordingly. However, we need to address all of those we had made to that point. We contacted all affected patients and their prescribers and remade all of them. We were very concerned that this may reflect poorly as we were brand new and those prescribers may have chosen to no longer use us. It turned out to be the opposite. The prescribers and patients were so impressed at our commitment to quality that it reinforced their decision to use us for their compounding needs. It also reinforced our commitment to do the right thing at all times.

How has NCPA helped your business?
Helping compounders' efforts with all of the recent changes in regulation. This includes both in lobbying to help legislators understand what we do and why it is important, but also to educate us on the impacts of these changes.