Andrew Barrett has been a pharmacist for more than 30 years, and so when he decided to open his second Clarkstown Pharmacy location, he had a few different ideas for the New City location.
“I’ve seen what works, what doesn’t work, what was old school and worked, what was old school and didn’t work,” he said. “I’ve tried to take all of those pieces and put them into what I want to call a state-of-the-art 21st Century pharmacy, a local pharmacy where when you call you’re going to get somebody who answers the phone. Do I have one of those IDR systems? Yes, that will be on at night, but during the day, people like to talk to people.”
Barrett, who has owned his Clarkstown Pharmacy's West Nyack location for the past 22 years, said the New City location offers surgical supplies, accepts Medicare assignment and is Medicare accredited. He added they have a faxing service, and can call or text people if there’s an issue with a prescription. They also offer a delivery service.
“We’re doing the things that the chains can’t do, but we’re also doing the things the chains can do,” Barrett said. “One of the things I learned a long time ago: there’s a reason chains are successful. In this town, people shine away from chains. They like the old time pharmacies better. But throughout the county, chains exist because they do a lot of good things. So what I’ve done is I’ve tried to copy the good things they’ve done and take in the independent pharmacies' good things and put that in there too, and try to give everybody in the county a really class, well run pharmacy operation.”
The New City location on South Main Street had a soft opening on July 16 and is located in the DeCicco's Marketplace shopping center next to Big Daddy's Liquor.
Barrett, a New City resident, said when he was thinking about how to combine what works at other pharmacies with what people in the community would want, he came up with the idea for a loyalty program. The loyalty program donates money from sales at the pharmacy to local organizations.
“Every time you come in and make a purchase, five percent of your purchase is going to go to the community organization of your choice,” Barrett said. “Some of them we’re using are Hi-Tor Rebuild, JCC of Rockland, St. Augustine’s Church, New City Jewish Center, New City Fire Department, the volunteer fire department, Meals on Wheels. Everybody has an organization that they donate to, belong to.”
He added the donations come from regular sales, not prescription sales.
“I live in the community, I know how the community struggles, how all of these organizations struggle, and it’s just a way for me to give back through my customers,” he said.
Barrett said that even though the economy might be down, he feels confident in his pharmacy, partly because of his experience and partly because of need.
“If I was opening up a clothing store, maybe I would think twice, but this is a pharmacy,” he said. “Unfortunately, people always need medications. Fortunately, we all use deodorant, we all use shampoo, we all use toothpaste.”
He felt there was an even greater need in the area for a pharmacy after Drug World closed.
“I’ve been in West Nyack for 22 years, I live in New City and when Drug World went out of business, there basically was no independent pharmacy in the area and I know the need for an independent pharmacy, especially in a local area like this,” he said. “I decided to rent the space and open up.”
The New City location will have its grand opening Wednesday Sept. 12. From 9 a.m. to noon, McKesson, one of Barrett’s suppliers, will be there with an RV conducting healthcare screenings to test blood glucose, cholesterol, A1C, blood pressure and more. Barrett said people will be able to get results immediately.