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Pharmacist is offering customers an alternative

Pharmacist is offering customers an alternative
September 11
00:00 2014
(pictured above: Chanel Davis Southside Discount Pharmacy is located in Southeast Plaza.)

At Southside Discount Pharmacy, Ahunna Freeman wants to change the way pharmacists deal with customers.

Ahunna Freeman

Ahunna Freeman

“I was a retail pharmacist for nine years, and I realized that more could be done than what the chain was offering,” Freeman said. “People need help understanding their medicines. Some people actually wanted to know more but the biggest problem was the time. (I wanted to) take the time to explain it, talk to them and try to save them money.”

 

Freeman opened Southside Discount Pharmacy two months ago with the support of her husband, Scottie.

Southside Discount Pharmacy is stocked full of merchandise.

Southside Discount Pharmacy is stocked full of merchandise.

Located at 3085 Waughtown St. in the Southeast Plaza Shopping Center, the pharmacy looks no different from the well-known chain drug stores. Vitamins, over-the-counter medications and medical supplies line store shelves. Snacks and soft drinks are sold, and an assortment of items on one wall sell for only $1 each.

The difference, Freeman says, is the service and personal touches. The pharmacy offers free in-store blood pressure and blood sugar checks. Immunizations are given there and most types of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, are accepted. There is also free delivery to patients’ homes and a “price match promise.”

Freeman, a native of Nigeria who received her pharmacy training at Campbell University, said with her own business, she can engage and educate patients while promoting good health.

“I don’t feel like I can be compared to (large retail pharmacies) because what I offer is different and more personalized,” she said. “I try to really get to know my patients and their needs. You can’t get that at the chains.”

Scottie Freeman said that opening a pharmacy had long been his wife’s dream.

“It is something we have always talked about,” he said. “My initial thoughts were how much hard work, commitment, planning and motivation will be required to make this dream become a success. Immediately after that, I thought about how capable Ahunna is of running a pharmacy and how motivated we are to do more for our community.”

Employee Michelin Michaux counts pills to fill a prescription.

Employee Michelin Michaux counts pills to fill a prescription.

The Southside is the city’s most racially diverse sector. That is one of the things that appeals to Freeman, whose staff of three includes two Spanish-speakers.

“We wanted to be in a community that would be able to benefit from us,” she said. “We want them to know that we are here for them and will be a patient advocate for sure … They deserve that service.”
Freeman says the pharmacy is already being well-received by the community and feedback has been positive. Her husband is not surprised.

“I believe with Ahunna’s desire to better the lives of her patients, her outstanding business acumen, and amazing, genuine personality, this venture will be a success … As the business grows, her impact on the community will continue to grow.”

Reach the pharmacy at 336-830-8774 or via email at southsidediscountrx@nullgmail.com. It is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The store is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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