Frick's pharmacy serves as students' model

Four University of Washington pharmacy students are using Frick's Rexall Drug Store and Jim's Pharmacy in Port Angeles as role models of independent community pharmacies in a national business plan contest.

"The contest aims to promote independent pharmacy services in small towns," said Don Downing, a professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy.

"People are looking for personalized service."

Students Dana Ling, Alisha Fewins and Rachel Merrill all are in their third year of the four-year doctor of pharmacology program at the University of Washington. Zsolt Hepp is in his second year.

The group, which also included U.W. pharmacy professor Jackie Gardner, spent Aug. 18 visiting Sequim and Port Angeles.

Along with meeting Sequim city officials and visiting both pharmacies, they also took photos for a slide show they'll present at the contest.

Cy Frick a mentor

They were supposed to meet with Cy Frick, but couldn't.

"I'm sorry I missed them. I'm really proud of those kids," he said.

Frick has worked with University of Washington pharmacy students and has served as a preceptor in the pharmacy school, teaching interns and technicians.

"I interacted with them during the project and gave them information. I thought that business plan was exceptional.

"It's great thing for a young person to have interest in independent pharmacies because we're a dying breed," he said.

Fewins said she has an internship at the U.W. Medical Center and is exploring how independent pharmacies operate.

Student seeks small town

Merrill is from the small town of Napa Vine near Chehalis and said she is seeking to work in a small town where people go to retire.

Ling said the Sequim area goes well with the independent small town pharmacy ideal of the contest.

Hepp said he is attracted to independent pharmacies because they offer a chance to become part of the community.

The business plan contest is sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association, whose motto is "Keeping independents independent."

The contest is open to pharmacy schools across the country. Students develop a business plan to buy or build an independent pharmacy.

Plan envisions partnership

Twenty-nine plans were submitted and the U.W. group's was one of three that made it to the finals, set for Saturday, Oct. 17, during the association's annual convention.

The plan for "Sequim Apothecary" envisions a cooperative arrangement between Frick's and Jim's Pharmacy to provide a wide range of personalized services.

Ling said a lot of people are not aware of the many services that pharmacies can provide, such as immunizations, prescription analysis and consultation and compounding.

Compounding allows tailoring medications to different dosages or forms and even removing one ingredient from an ointment if a person is allergic to it.

Hepp said the prescription analysis and consultation can result in lower costs and people's taking fewer medications, since one doctor often prescribes medications without knowing what else the person is taking.

Reach Brian Gawley at

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