Q&A: Pharmacist of the Year

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. – Jim Spoon, owner of Spoon Drug in Sand Springs, Okla., has been named the 2018 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year. The award, presented at the National Community Pharmacists Association's annual convention in Boston, recognizes independent pharmacists for exemplary leadership, commitment to independent pharmacy and service to the community. HME News recently spoke with Spoon, who began his pharmacy career at age 14 delivering prescriptions by bicycle, about shrinking margins and the future of pharmacy.

HME News: What are some of the challenges facing independent pharmacies these days?

Jim Spoon: Shrinking margins. As the contracts pay us less money we have to find ways to buy better and be more efficient. It's very difficult.

HME: What makes Spoon Drug so successful?

Spoon:  It's simply personal contact with the patients. We have some patients that come to us from chain pharmacies to fill a prescription and it's very rare that they don't stay with us once we convince them that their copay is the same and it's no more expensive to buy prescriptions from an independent pharmacy. 

HME: Why is the role of the pharmacist so vital in healthcare?

Spoon: It's very important that people take their medication correctly. If we see prescriptions filled late or even early, we will have a conference with them and make sure they know how important it is to take their medications the way their doctor prescribed. Studies show that saves a lot of hospital visits and hospital stays. 

HME: Where do you see the future of pharmacy headed?

Spoon: We make sure patients get healthy and stay healthy and I think that's going to be our role in the future, but in a more significant way. I think we'll have access to more records than we've had in the past so we can access health better.