Cottrell celebrates pharmacy’s golden years – The Brewton Standard

Before he was even old enough to drive, Danny Cottrell got his hands dirty.
This week, Cottrell is celebrating 50 years of providing quality patient care and work around Brewton and beyond.
Cottrell’s love for all things pharmacy did not come to him as a child. Growing up, Cottrell said he dreamed of another profession.
“I always thought I wanted to be a coach,” Cottrell said. “But in eighth grade I had a badly broken leg. I realized that the profession of pharmacist would be the one I could pick up a chair and do. I always wanted to be a coach, but I knew somewhere down the line that I would have problems because of this break.I spent 14 weeks in a cast.Even now I notice it some days.
Although the coaching would have been a pleasure for the pharmacist, its reach into many communities and the health care of countless patients is one that many people have benefited from over the years.
Tom Henderson started working for Cottrell in 1992 and says his generosity has always been a big part of who he is.
“He’s very generous,” Henderson said. “When it comes to things in the community, he has always been willing to give to churches and civic organizations. He is generous with his time and resources to help people.
Henderson, who was once a partner in the business with Cottrell, said he was more than a partner and a colleague.
“He was always willing to work with people and schedules,” Henderson said. “When my children were small, he worked with me. Because of that, I never missed any game they played.
Henderson also said Cottrell has been known to help clients beyond what is needed.
“He’s worked with so many people,” Henderson said. “Allow them to find a way to get what they need. He’s very generous.”
Cottrell’s care of patients was his own after he became the owner of the pharmacy. After starting in pharmacy at the age of 15, he continued to work, even in college, on weekends until he graduated from Auburn University in Pharmacy. 1979.
“Henry Lowery ran the pharmacy then,” Cottrell said. “He was ready to go, but worked more to wait for me to come back. A few years after graduating, he moved to Colorado. Then all of a sudden I’m 24 and I’m running the store. It was a good enough store at the time that it practically ran on its own with two pharmacists.
Cottrell said the idea of ​​actually owning the business was not what he envisioned.
“At the time, the pharmacy was owned by Randolph McDowell, with the doctors and Medical Center Group owning the business,” Cottrell said. “In April 1984, he came to sell me the pharmacy with 100% financing. Back then, people didn’t go into debt like that. I didn’t even have a credit card. The following week, we signed this contract and the company was mine.
Owning a lucrative and growing business was a blessing for Cottrell as a pharmacist in his twenties.
“I’ve never regretted it,” Cottrell said. “A year later, we purchased Mormon’s Drugs and transferred that business with ours.”
This purchase of a second pharmacy would be the first for Cottrell and his family.
“Today we own the Medical Center Pharmacy, Cottrell’s Hometown Pharmacy and Flomaton Pharmacy as sole proprietors,” Cottrell said. “I’m involved in a partnership with other people and have six stores in Mobile, five in southeast Alabama, including one in Atmore, and six in the Florida panhandle.”
With business interests throughout the region, Cottrell said he was lucky and blessed to be able to spend his life here at home.
“My family had the opportunity to stay here in Brewton with our parents,” Cottrell said. “The stores have been successful enough for us to expand and that has allowed us to give back to the community. Brewton has been great with us. It’s just hard to believe it’s been 50 years and it’s gone this well.
Cottrell’s son, Tim, grew up around the business and is once again working alongside his father.
“He was always there and I was always able to get what I needed,” Tim said. “The store has been a blessing to our family and was able to bless many other people as well.”
Tim didn’t always want to follow in his father’s footsteps, but the timing turned out to be a blessing.
“I worked there as a teenager in the summers and learned a lot about what I wanted for my future,” Tim said. “I left the pharmacy for a while, but now I work full time. The timing was perfect. When I came back I had a few ideas of things I could help with and it turned out he really understood most things. My plan is just to try to help get things done.
Although Cottrell recalls his time at the company being smooth, there were definitely tough times in the economy along the way.
In March 2009, Cottrell saw some of his employees panicking about the slowing economy. At that time, the federal government was trying to provide stimulus funds to help revive the economy. But, Cottrell had a plan for the people locally – a plan that would get national attention.
“It was some of the employees who were kind of freaking out thinking maybe we need to lay people off,” Cottrell said. “We were just doing something to make sure they knew we were going to be okay. We found a way to give them a bonus and turn it into something even better.
When Cottrell handed out those now-famous $2 bills, he asked his employees to donate 15% to charity and spend the remaining money with local merchants, who were also experiencing a downturn in business. News of his $16,000 employee stimulus package made its way through the national media and all attention turned to the local pharmacist for a while.
“That recognition was sobering because I was attracting that attention,” Cottrell said. “In the scheme of things, I hadn’t done much.”
This “not much” put Cottrell in the company of some well-known humanitarians, including Captain “Sully” Sullenberger and Michael J. Fox, among others.
While this recognition in 2009 was well deserved, it wouldn’t be the last time Cottrell was honored for his compassion, business acumen and incredible work ethic.
Cottrell was honored in 2009 by receiving Willard Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year. Other honors bestowed on Cottrell include the 1992 Wayne Staggs Distinguished Service Award, the 1996 Bowl of Hygeia, the 2004 King Kourtesy Award, and the 2010 APAA Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2001 he received the first Lester White Award for Good Government, nominated for being a good friend and colleague. Cottrell was named Brewton’s 2005 Citizen of the Year and 2009 NCPA Pharmacist of the Year as a result of his $16,000 stimulus package. During the COVID pandemic, Cottrell rehearsed his recovery program for the local community.
Although Cottrell primarily focuses on working with members of the communities it serves, its reach is much broader than Brewton.
When Cottrell joined this Alabama Pharmacists Association in 1985, he quickly found himself on the board in various leadership roles. He was named president of the APA in 1993 and continues to serve on the board of the APA PAC today. He also supported the National Community Pharmacists Association by serving on its legislative committee for 13 years and on its PAC committee for 11 years. He was president and member of the board of directors of Associated Pharmacies for 15 years. Additionally, he has served on the Alabama Medicaid Advisory Committee, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Pharmacy Advisory Committee, the Alabama Workers Compensation Advisory Committee, and the Long-Term Care Task Force. from Alabama. He’s been called the father of the Medicaid provider tax, and he remembers laying out the plan on a cocktail napkin in the hallway at an APA Mid-Winter conference in the early ’90s. in effect today, provides millions of dollars in funding to the state each year and ensures that a fair dispensing fee is paid to pharmacies in return. Cottrell has been an advocate for pharmacy to anyone in the Medicaid commissioner’s office over the decades. He has had more impact on Alabama politics than most elected officials and has been instrumental in supporting pro-pharmacy candidates at all levels.
Cottrell recorded 50 years in the pharmacy business with Medical Center Pharmacy on June 6. The business has grown over the years from Brewton Medical Center to its current home. Plans are underway for a new pharmacy to be detached from the medical center to provide a wide range of services to customers served by the family. No opening date has been announced for this facility.

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