When Sam Hantzis decided to open Health Care Family Pharmacy, he found a spot in the Village Square plaza at 14 Loon Hill Road in Dracut, almost directly across the street from CVS. Madness, some might have said. But to Sam, there was a method.
“If you’re going to open an independent pharmacy, you want to be near a chain,” says Sam, who owns HCFP with his wife, Connie. “If you’re independent, you can’t be afraid of chains.”
Sam should know. He worked as a pharmacist for one of those chains – Rite-Aid – for 15 years in neighboring Lowell before going independent.
Because the cost of prescription medicine is determined by the insurance companies, all pharmacies – chain or independent – are on the same footing in that regard. Thus, the major difference between the two is the quality of service provided.
“I worked for Rite-Aid in Lowell for about 15 years, so I know what their model is,” Sam says. “It’s strictly volume and numbers. With us, it’s service. It’s the only edge we have.”
Another key benefit for Health Care Family Pharmacy is that they’ll deliver medications to their customers – a trend that really blossomed during the pandemic.
“Delivery is big for us, especially since COVID,” Sam says. “We deliver primarily prescriptions, but if you need something else, something over the counter, we’ll deliver that as well. And we never charge for delivery.”
Another recent addition to Health Care Family Pharmacy’s list of services is compliance packaging. Customers can receive all of their prescriptions in one package to help keep track of their drug regimen. The drugs are organized by dose, day of the week and time of day.
“It’s very good for people who are starting to have difficulty keeping track of their prescriptions,” Sam says.
A lot of customers followed Sam from Rite-Aid when he opened Health Care Family Pharmacy, but he understands that some folks don’t get how easy it is to transfer prescriptions to a new pharmacy.
“We do it all for you,” he says. “Just tell us what you want transferred, and we’ll call your pharmacy and take care of it. You don’t have to do a thing.”
So while Health Care Family Pharmacy is within sight of CVS, Sam’s not too worried about the competition.
“The chains aren’t that hard to compete with if you can change people’s mindsets,” Sam says.
January 12 is National Pharmacist Day. Visit Sam, Connie and the crew at healthcarefamilypharmacy.com or call 978-455-0570.