BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A surprise announcement on Tuesday from Amazon. The online shopping site can now send prescriptions to your door.
But, Mahoning Valley pharmacies say they’re able to deliver the same services with a personalized touch.
“Competition is always something to worry about in business but as a local pharmacy, there’s not many of us left out there but the ones that are out there, you know? We work hard for the community and we’re here for them,” said Richard Pipak, a pharmacist at Brown’s Drug Store.
Local pharmacies weren’t surprised by Amazon’s decision to launch an online pharmacy, but they’re sure that they can provide more value for customers.
“These other companies, they come and try to offer something new but it’s something that we’ve been doing for a really long time and we really think we do it better than them,” Pipak said.
Local pharmacies say relationships are what sets them apart. They get to know their customers well after serving many of them for years.
“Some patients can utilize those pharmacies without any problem, but if you need some special attention or next-level care, you’re gonna need a pharmacy that is able to get involved, knows who you are,” said Ron McDermott, senior vice president of operations for Hometown Pharmacy.
The businesses say an online format could cause issues with delivery quality or ensuring patients take their medicine correctly.
“Who you gonna call when you have a question about your medication? You’re going to have to press seven buttons to get to somebody that you don’t know and they’re going to be halfway across the nation,” McDermott said.
Local pharmacies can match discounts that Amazon is advertising.
Pipak also says his pharmacy offers pill packs and same-day delivery.
Longtime customer Jill Thompson says she prefers going to the pharmacy over the delivery options.
“Most of the time, I like to come because they have a really cute gift shop in there also and there’s so much to look at and pick up my prescriptions and be able to shop and get other things,” she said.
The pharmacies say some of their customers may try the new Amazon service, but they’re very confident they’ll come back.
More stories from WKBN.com: