Grand Pharmacy opens a telepharmacy in the center | Company
CENTER, Mo. – Grand Pharmacy opened on July 22 at the region’s first telepharmacy in Center, allowing local patients to access their medications and other supplies, without traveling to a larger city.
Thanks to Missouri legislation passed in 2020 allowing Class R pharmacies, also known as telepharmacy, pharmacists can now approve prescriptions remotely. Greg Gilmore, owner and pharmacist of Grand Pharmacy, said it gives them the opportunity to provide service to small towns.
âA lot of other states have allowed it for years, but Missouri barely allowed it,â Gilmore said. “It allows smaller towns like Center, where we have never been able to justify paying a pharmacist, to have a pharmacy when they couldn’t before.”
Before the state approved the legislation, a pharmacist had to be on site at all times, but now pharmacists can work with a technician to safely verify and approve prescriptions using a technology called TelePharm. It also allows customers to have one-on-one consultations with pharmacists in a private lounge equipped with an iPad.
Grand Pharmacy is locally operated and has been part of the Hannibal community for thirty years, and this is where Gilmore continues to work while technician Jackie Dryden manages the location of the center.
âI spoke to several owners of telepharmacy across the country when I was thinking about doing this and the common thread was to have a technician who is experienced and who you can trust,â said Gilmore. “I immediately thought of Jackie as she just celebrated her twentieth birthday at Hannibal with Grand Pharmacy.”
Dryden will be the only full-time employee on site, but a delivery driver will also be present at times. Gilmore said delivery will be available to all residents of Center city limits.
“The center is not a big city, but if you don’t have a vehicle you don’t want to have to walk, and a lot of people without a vehicle try to get to Hannibal or elsewhere to get their meds,” says Gilmore. . âProximity is a critical part of health care, so when people have to travel it’s a barrier. “
Dryden also noted that local people can get more than just prescriptions at Grand Pharmacy in Center. âWe make cough drops, bandages, vitamins, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant. Basic items you don’t want to take a trip to if you run out of them.
While the virtual process can add time to the process, Gilmore said the total time to fill a prescription will be a few minutes and the remote location will not change the atmosphere of the small town Grand Pharmacy is known for.
“There will always be all the benefits of a small local pharmacy.”