After an unexpected closure in the spring left Pinetops residents without a pharmacy for the first time in more than 35 years, it was a shock.
Customers going to pick up prescriptions discovered locked doors. Then, they had to make arrangements to get those prescriptions filled a second time at another pharmacy while also convincing their insurance carrier they weren’t trying to double up.
After that, there was the fact they had to drive at least a 30-minute round trip to Tarboro, Rocky Mount or Wilson to pick up their medications.
But things are returning to a more normal state of affairs following the Nov. 2 opening of Pinetops Pharmacy.
Located at 102 W. Hamlet in downtown Pinetops, the pharmacy is in a familiar location.
Owner and pharmacist Travis Dubois said another connection he wants the community to make, in addition to the location, is the level of customer service he and his staff provide.
“We want the community to see that we are striving to provide the same level of customer service they received from Johnny (Hogg) at Service Drug for all those years,” Dubois said.
Hogg operated Service Drug for some 35 years before selling the business a few years back. It was those operators who closed the doors without notice.
Dubois, who said he had “worked for all the chains” as well as independent pharmacies, noted that the only thing that differentiates one store from another is the level of service.
“All pharmacies have prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines,” he said, noting that Pinetops Pharmacy also carries a number of specialty items that you can’t always find.”
Dubois said customers are always welcome to walk into the store, but that curbside pickup and delivery are also available.
“Just call us when you’re outside and we’ll bring your order out to you,” he said, noting that free delivery is available in a 15-mile radius of the store.
“We want to provide our customers with the best possible service. We want people to know we’re here and ready to serve them and that they can get that same, friendly, hometown service (as when Hogg operated Service Drug).”
Other services provided include counseling about specific medications, organizing medications and administering certain vaccinations.
“If you have a question about a medication, just call or come by and we will be happy to answer any question or concern you may have,” he said.
He also said pharmacy staff can help in getting medications organized so that they need to be refilled just once a month.
“The biggest problem we run into is patients not remembering to fill their prescriptions or remembering to take their medications. We can help people manage their medications,” Dubois said.
Additionally, pneumonia and shingles vaccinations are available and Dubois said flu shots, which must be pre-ordered months earlier, may be available at a later date.
Pinetops Pharmacy has a staff of five full-time employees, plus an as-needed delivery person, and Dubois noted that two of the staff members — Trudy Turner and Cathy Stallings — were part of the team when Hogg owned and operated the business. Turner logged 17 years with Service Drug and Stallings had two years.
The pharmacy is open from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information about Pinetops Pharmacy, call 252-250-3910, or come by 102 W. Hamlet in downtown Pinetops.