DALLAS — How many pharmacies call their patients on their birthdays?
The Medicine Shoppe, located at 26 Dallas Village, does that and more.
Owner Gary Karwaski graduated from pharmacy school at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in 1977, and worked in an independent pharmacy and a chain before moving up in management, becoming a district manager for CVS.
“I thought, ‘This is not what I really wanted to do.’ I kind of really missed being back at the store … I missed the interaction with the patients,” he said. “I was the most happy when I was back at the pharmacy.”
Karwaski, who is originally from Taylor but has lived all over the state, decided to open his own.
“Medicine Shoppe was a franchise, I knew they were very successful … so I thought, ‘I think I’m just gonna leave there and try to go off on my own.’ It’s probably one of the best decisions that I ever made, and that was 25 years ago.”
Now, he said, it is more like a family business. Two of Karwaski’s children, Beth and Adam, are currently working there as pharmacists, and all of his children worked there while they were in school.
“It’s been really good,” he beamed.
Karwaski said that the pharmacy sets itself apart from chains in the area with both their relationships with their customers and their focus on overall health.
“First thing they’re not able to do, I don’t think they’re able to do customer service the way we do. We just treat everyone, I think, very special,” he said. “We really know our patients personally.
“We sit down and talk with them every time they get their medication, and if they have any questions, we’re available 24 hours a day.”
The second thing, he said, is their lab license, which allows them to take blood. The pharmacy offers cholesterol screenings, diabetic screenings, blood pressure, immunization and more.
“It’s all about their whole health,” he explained. “People are more concerned about their health, so we want to be there to answer all their questions and be there for them.”
The personal relationship the pharmacists at Medicine Shoppe in Dallas have with their patients, Karwaski said, has cultivated loyalty from customers.
He said that many patients’ insurance companies are now requiring them to use mail order, but even that hasn’t stopped them from coming back.
“They still come in and call us with questions. They always come in for over the counter (medications),” he said.
“To us, it’s always been a personal relationship. It’s more than just filling prescriptions.”