By ROB JONAS
LATHAM – A new pharmacy offers local residents an independent option from the national chains.
Caring Wellness Pharmacy – opening soon on New Loudon Road – gives owner-operator Sam Awad the chance to provide individualized service with prices competitive with the national chains.
“I felt like there was no independent pharmacy in Latham,” said Awad. “There were a couple of other pharmacies around, but no independent ones serving that part of Latham.”
Awad chose his location based on an available drive-thru window, which offers customers an option for picking up their prescriptions. He also plans to have a home delivery service for those customers who can’t get to the store. The pharmacy will carry both traditional and natural medicines.
“I’m looking to carry products that fit everyone in the community I serve, but I also want to carry products that I feel confident in. So, I will carry natural products for those who want them, and I will carry products for those who want to go a traditional [medicinal] route,” said Awad.
Awad immigrated to the United States to study medicine, but difficulty gaining a visa altered his path to practicing medicine.
“I postponed going to college for two years,” said Awad. “I wanted to become a doctor, but because of the delay, I decided to become a pharmacist.”
Awad said he is happy that he became a pharmacist. “I like how pharmacists have a lot more interaction with patients than doctors. We’re easier to get a hold of. You can just call, and I will be the one to answer the phone,” he said.
What Awad said he wasn’t happy about was working at a national chain. So, he decided to go his own way and created Caring Wellness Pharmacy.
“I think the biggest challenge is to educate people that independent pharmacies can actually compete,” he said. “I can carry the same quality, if not better, than the chains. I can give discounts like the chains because I have the freedom and ability to purchase from different distributors.”
Caring Wellness Pharmacy is located at 1097 New Loudon Road in Latham. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call 518-407-1746 to set up a new patient account. Once entered into the system, patients may call 518-783-1210 to refill prescriptions or to speak with Awad and his staff.
Caring Wellness Pharmacy’s website offers additional assistance, such as setting up a mobile app to refill prescriptions, offering coupons for discounts on prescriptions and on-line wellness classes. For more information, visit caringwellnesspharmacy.com.