Scotts Family Pharmacy makes its debut in Homer with its soft opening on Thursday, Oct. 6, and plans to offer services currently unavailable elsewhere.
“(Nathan Scott) had an idea he wanted to bring to Homer,” said Gina Scott, Nathan’s wife and business partner. “Customer service is very important and he sees there is a big need for it.”
The pharmacy is located at 4014 Lake St. in suite 101 of what long-time Homer residents call the old blue bank building on the corner of East End Road and Lake Street. A banner advertising the pharmacy sits at the corner, though customers can only enter the pharmacy from the doors facing the building’s parking lot.
In addition to filling prescriptions, Scotts Family Pharmacy offers medication management counseling sessions for people taking multiple medications. Those sessions are held in a private room in the pharmacy. The goal is to check for duplicate prescriptions, medications that might interact in a harmful way and also discuss strategies for healthfulness outside of the realm of prescriptions.
“We’re big on the holistic approach of medicine. I don’t think that medications are always the choice for people. I think that lifestyle changes and incorporating a lot of different things to keep people healthy and make people healthy is the real answer,” Nathan said. “I think natural products are good and I don’t believe they’re the whole answer, but I think there’s a place for those as well as for prescription medications and lifestyle choices like eating healthy. So we’ll be providing different nutritional products to help with that as well.”
As of their soft opening on Wednesday, Scotts Family Pharmacy has much more to add. The Scotts expect to hold a grand opening, potentially in November.
Currently, they offer prescription services, including the medication counseling. Their up-to-date computer system allows customers to schedule auto-refills for prescriptions they fill on a regular basis and receive updates via phone call or text message. The system also can help simplify the lives of those who have multiple medications that they pick up at varying times of the month, requiring them to take multiple trips to the pharmacy because insurance only allows refills after a certain time period. Scotts Family Pharmacy’s system can schedule medication pickups in a way that over time condenses the pickup dates into one date.
The pharmacy also will have Naloxone, the opiate overdose prevention medication commonly known as Narcan, available by prescription, Nathan said. A crash cart for pharmacy use in the case of a medical emergency also will have naloxone in the injection, oral and nasal forms in case an overdose occurs in the pharmacy. Preparing for an opioid-related emergency is important, as opioid use is rampant in the Homer community, Nathan said.
Within the next month, Scotts Family Pharmacy will add a drive-through window, an immunization clinic offering flu shots and a selection of retail products. Flu shots will be given in a private room, instead of just behind a curtain out in the open area of the pharmacy.
The Scotts hope to have the retail area and drive-through set up soon, but a few bumps in the road, including back-ordered shelving that needs to be barged up and an extra thick wall left over from the former bank’s safe where the drive-through window was meant to go, have delayed their plans. Soon, however, customers will be able to pick up prescriptions without leaving their car — a first for Homer.
As the pharmacy grows, Nathan plans to do compounding — the process of using raw ingredients to make medications at different doses for individual customers, a process often used for hormonal treatments since each person’s dose varies, Nathan said. For example, a woman with a prescription for an estrogen cream would go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacy would make that cream at the specified dosage for her individualized needs.
In addition to first aid items and over-the-counter medications, the Scotts will carry vitamins, supplements, essential oils, probiotics — both the refrigerated and room temperature varieties — and medical devices such as crutches, walkers and splints. Gina also wants to have an area for Homer-made products, from lotions and soaps to décor and souvenirs.
The Scotts moved to Homer from Utah about a year and a half ago, and might be faces already familiar to many community members. Nathan worked in Safeway’s pharmacy and Gina worked at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. The couple brought two of their three children, who attend Homer Middle School and Homer High School, with them. Their oldest lives and travels abroad. The Scotts dreamed of living in Alaska and, after spending a short time in the Anchorage area, they were drawn to Homer’s small town atmosphere and natural beauty. They plan to stick around, as evidenced by the opening of their new business, Gina said.
Nathan received his doctorate of pharmacy from the University of Southern Nevada and has worked in both retail and clinical settings. The majority of his experience comes from working at a hospital between 2008 and 2015, where he gained experience in anti-coagulation monitoring for patients with medications that affect blood clotting, as well as emergency medication and antibiotic infusions.
“It’s important that people receive the right medication for the bacteria they have,” Nathan said of antibiotics. “Too often it gets done wrong because people don’t have the right experience.”
The pharmacy’s two other technicians are Krista Glanville and her mother-in-law Diane Glanville, who collectively bring more than 15 years of experience to Scotts Family Pharmacy. Gina is also trained as a technician, but will focus mostly on the business side of the operation.
“Gina’s really good at creating an atmosphere that’s pleasing and comfortable,” Nathan said. “When people come to a pharmacy, they often don’t feel good. Coming into a pharmacy after a doctor’s appointment needs to be a continuation of care. A doctor isn’t gong to treat them like they are in the way, but often that happens in a pharmacy. We want to be here to help you feel better.”
For more information or to reach Scotts Family Pharmacy, visit the Scotts Family pharmacy Facebook page at facebook.com/scottsfamilypharmacy, or call 907-226-2580.
Anna Frost can be reached at [email protected]