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Moose Pharmacy going strong after 130 years
[October 26, 2012]

Moose Pharmacy going strong after 130 years

Oct 26, 2012 (Independent Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- CONCORD, N.C. -- Moose Pharmacy's Concord office sits on the corner of Copperfield Boulevard and Branchview Drive, behind a line of shrubby trees in the Cabarrus Family Medicine Building.

It might be easy to miss, but generations of Cabarrus County residents know where it and the other four Moose Pharmacy locations are.

A.W. Moose started the family-owned franchise in 1882 in Mount Pleasant, where one of the stores still stands.

Joseph Moose and his brother Whit Jr. are the fourth generation of Moose family pharmacists. They've kept the tradition of individualized attention alive, Joseph Moose said, and that has led to their continued success.

Joseph Moose, a graduate of Campbell Universtiy's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, was honored on Oct. 15 with the national title of "2012 Next-Generation Pharmacist" at the third annual Next-Generation Pharmacist awards event presented by Parata Systems and Pharmacy Times in San Diego.

Of the more than 375 nominations received in 2012, three finalists were named in each category and the winners were announced to an audience of pharmacy leaders. The overall title of "Next-Generation Pharmacist" is determined from among the winners of the pharmacist categories.

Moose also was named the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, chosen by the industry for his high standards of patient care, management success and dedication to advancing pharmacy care.

He said he wants to instill in his pharmacy customers the importance of understanding their healthcare options.

"Not only is it important, it's extremely expensive, and they need to make sure they're getting the biggest bang for their buck," he said.

Moose Pharmacy staff go above and beyond the typical customer service experience, he said.

They follow up with patients by making phone calls and home visits, synchronizing medicines and talking to doctors to change prescriptions for patients who aren't tolerating their medicine or who can't afford what they're taking.

Moose also runs a compounding practice, which makes custom prescriptions for customers with special needs.

"Let's say they make it in a five milligram and a 20 milligram," he said. "Five's not strong enough; 20's too strong. We can make it in a dose that they can accommodate." Many children with heart conditions need medication typically made for adults and only available in a tablet form, he said. The compounding practice will dose it down and make it into a palatable liquid form.

And they make medications that have been discontinued for not enough demand, and they make topical preparations for patients with liver sensitivities or side-effect sensitivities.

Moose said the pharmacy and compounding practice meet patients with lower income where they are so they can get the healthcare they need without exorbitant costs.

If a patient needs an expensive drug but can't afford it "that drug obviously doesn't do them any good, because they never took it," he said. "So what we'll try to do is work with the patient on what they can afford and get them on a regimen they can afford to take and stay attuned to and get the benefit that way." Sometimes that means getting a patient on a generic medication or asking the patient's doctor to switch the person to a similar medication.

"The physician doesn't know what your insurance claim covers or doesn't know what your financial situation is a lot of times," he said. "So there might be a medication that will be a $45 co-pay when there's one that's got a $4 co-pay that's equally effective." Moose Pharmacy also works to get customers on patient-assistance programs through pharmaceutical companies or to secure government grants for affordable medication.

Moose said he wants his patients to have success with their medicines and stressed communication.

"We touch base with them throughout the month to make sure that they're taken care of and they're not having any problems and they're taking everything like they're supposed to," he said. "As people get on six or eight medicines, it just becomes very problematic -- taking medicines correctly." Data shows about 50 percent of patients fail to correctly follow prescriptions. Even fewer people follow instructions correctly after the fourth refill.

Additionally there is the danger of overdose, especially with narcotic painkillers.

"People would not imagine how common it is," he said. They can forget when they took their last pill, or they can take more than they should because their symptoms are worse on a particular day.

"Our program works with these patients to try to prevent that from happening," he said. "The medicines that people take are very powerful." "I think the knowledge the patient has to know about what they're taking and why they're taking it and what they should expect to happen when they take it is as powerful as the tablet that they're taking," he added.

___ (c)2012 the Independent Tribune (Kannapolis, N.C.) Visit the Independent Tribune (Kannapolis, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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