By now, most folks in the area have seen a new sign on Main Street that boldly reads Lac La Biche Pharmacy. With healthcare services at a premium in rural areas, this type of service is a welcome sight. Owner-pharmacist Mayur Patel, along with his business partner and wife Mishti Hirani, opened the business just a couple of short weeks ago on July 30th.
A Focus On Healthcare
The store focuses on health care products only, rather than the department store vibe that is common in many drugstore chain operations. While all of this might seem simple enough, Patel’s journey to this point in his career and to Lac La Biche itself was much more complicated.
A Long And Winding Road
Originally from Mumbai, India, Patel studied pharmacy in that country, completing his master’s and Ph.D., specializing in drug development research and supervising students. He applied to immigrate to Canada in 2010 and arrived in Ontario in 2012, working for the Loblaws chain while he passed the necessary qualifications to practice pharmacy in this country. Once that hurdle was completed, Patel’s journey led him to BC with Shoppers Drug Mart, back to Ontario, and then to Alberta, where he eventually worked as a relief pharmacist for Loblaws. In 2014, he accepted a permanent position as a pharmacist for Independent Grocers in Lac La Biche, where he enjoyed working with his colleagues and customers. He also enjoyed the independence of practicing pharmacy in Alberta, which is a little different than other places in Canada, which permits pharmacists with the right qualifications to prescribe certain medications.
Prescribing Pharmacist Services
A prescribing pharmacist can perform a clinical assessment, prescribe medication, educate, counsel and dispense medication, and provide injection and immunization services. Patel points out that this process helps to alleviate the stress on the healthcare system and assists patients that need routine medication, and all information is coordinated with family doctors in the region to ensure patient files are up-to-date.
Mayur, Mishti and their growing family fell in love with the Lac La Biche region. Thinking of starting their own business, Patel left Loblaws (Independent Grocers) and worked briefly for the local IDA as well as the hospital, where he still works one day each week. Once they found the right spot to open their own business, it took about 7 months to progress from empty shelves to opening the doors to customers.
Open For Convenience
Lac La Biche Pharmacy is open until 7:00 PM Monday to Thursday, Saturday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM and from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Sunday. The store is closed on Friday. For more information, call 780 627-3271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.