Pharmacy adds drive-up service

PETER WATSON
Last updated 13:00 14/11/2012
prices pharmacy
PATRICK HAMILTON/FAIRFAX NZ

BACK LATER: Pharmacist and co-owner of Prices Pharmacy Jason Wright takes a prescription at the drive-up window.

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Prices Pharmacy has installed a drive-in drop off service for prescriptions in a bid to stay ahead of its Nelson competition.

Founding partner Stuart Hebberd said it was a new concept for Nelson, although it was popular in the United States and had been adopted in main centres in New Zealand.

Customers who did not want to wait for their prescription to be processed could drive in and either hand it through a window to a staff member or leave it in a post box to collect later.

Hebberd said the service was for busy people, mothers with babies asleep in the car and those who were less mobile or able to get into the seven-day-a-week pharmacy comfortably.

With two big pharmacies either side of them on Collingwood St, "it keeps you on your toes and you have to think of opportunities to provide a better service".

The shop layout had also been remodelled, he said.

Despite the extra competition, the business, which was now in its 50th year, continued to grow and remained the largest pharmacy in the top of the south region with 28 staff, including seven pharmacists, Hebberd said.

Much of this was based on the dispensing it did for 10 rest homes, including ones in Blenheim and Motueka.

A robotic packaging system it had installed three years ago - the only one in the South Island north of Christchurch - had given it an edge and meant it could produce up to 10 different sachet doses a day for a patient, much more than rival systems.

Although expensive to install, it was more accurate, safer and saved rest homes nurse time.

Hebberd said he had also taken on a business partner, Jason Wright, as part of a succession plan.

Wright had a connection to the pharmacy, his grandfather Trevor having done the granite tiling on the building 20 years ago.

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- The Nelson Mail

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