It’s not only amber vials and vaccines. Well, it’s that too but it can be so much more. Patient care is constantly evolving in conventional and not-so-conventional ways.
Enter April Segal and Remedy Holistic Pharmacy. Through her focus on holistic care and herbal solutions, the San Diego-based healthcare extraordinaire cares for her community in new and innovative ways.
When asked about why she got into the pharmacy industry, her answer was simple:
“I always knew I wanted to do something health-related and help other people.”
She got her bachelor's degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University with the hopes of becoming a dietician. A health incident with a family member changed her outlook as she noticed how medications saved their life.
“I saw how medications were able to save their life. That really inspired me and I loved the impact medications can have on people.”
This simple but powerful experience led her to the University of Texas at Austin where she completed her Doctorate of Pharmacy, later moving to San Diego in 2014. Her post-grad journey led her to a unique part of the pharmacy industry: holistic care.
Off the southeast corner of Union St. and W. Cedar Street, you’ll find a pharmacy with tall glass walls that let in the sunny San Diego sun. Walk through the door and you’ll be met with neatly arranged medications, supplements, and other products like candles and herbal tea bags.
While the latter two items might not scream “pharmacy” to the average person, they work in concert with Amy’s mission as a healthcare professional. Since opening in the fall of 2019, Remedy Holistic Pharmacy has made its name for its modern approach to patient care, emphasizing the power of supplements and herbal solutions to prevent medication overuse.
“I think that’s the direction the industry has been going for a while.” She continues, “I that if independent pharmacies that are not already harnessing the sales of their vitamins and supplements are missing out on great revenue potential and missing the mark as to what people what in pharmacies these days.”
Remedy Holistic Pharmacy hasn’t missed the mark — they set it. Just a quick glance at their website will show the reader how Remedy Holistic Pharmacy cares for the San Diego community, with services including:
Amy understands that the words “holistic” and “herbal” can clash with the conventional idea of a pharmacy, preferring the term “integrative pharmacy” when describing her work.
“Our model truly is an integrative pharmacy. A good example is vaccines: soreness and inflammation are expected side effects. We can recommend they take Tylenol, vitamin C, or turmeric to help with inflammation. You can also take Echinacea to help boost your immune response.”
“Even just engaging and kind of teaching patients about that can open doors for both your pharmacy and their health.”
She also places high importance on sustainability and conscious consumerism by carrying biodegradable vials from PharmacyLite and stocking brands that share the same value. It’s an understated but vital part of maintaining a healthy environment.
“Independent pharmacies should consider what changes they could make to help with waste and production and even small changes like spending that extra five cents per vial. We need to consider our impact on the environment as much as we can as business owners in this highly regulated space.”
It’s these services and values that make Remedy stand out from the independent pact. April’s pharmacy proves that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to unique patient care. She helps her patients transform their health journeys into long, winding, and prosperous paths.
As with any pharmacy, you’re only as good as your staff. In the case of Remedy Holistic Pharmacy, the staff brings to life Amy’s mission to provide comprehensive and holistic care, especially when it comes to her pharmacy technicians.
“Our technicians really could be doing everything from calling the patient and explaining compounding, collecting their information, scheduling their medication, and even then making the medication and then filling it. They really get to know the patient, which creates a high job satisfaction.”
It’s not only the techs who help keep Remedy’s world turning. The pharmacy staff consists of fellow pharmacists, clinical herbalists, estheticians, retail managers, and interns — all working to achieve a more holistic type of patient care.
But you can only get so far depending on your pharmacy software system. With a pharmacy system like PioneerRx, April has been able to provide her brand of patient care while maintaining a steady and effective workflow.
“I love that PioneerRx is engaged and a growing company that continually invests in improving the system and coming up with much-needed upgrades and features.” She continues, “I value [PioneerRx] for being with the times and willing to take feedback and offer solutions so I don’t have a Frankenstein system where I’m logging into 100 different programs to get things done.”
When it comes to staying with the times, it takes one to know one.
The remarkable thing about independent pharmacy is the chance to put your own spin on patient care. It takes many shapes and sizes, leading to the same destination: a healthier and more prosperous health journey.
Few exemplify this idea better than Remedy Holistic Pharmacy. Through a healthy blend of prescription services and holistic services, April Segal and co. manage to carve a unique place in the industry.
If you ask her, changing the status quo is the only way to move forward, and recent current events follow this idea to a tee.
“Keep pushing against the status quo. That's what it takes to move this industry forward.”
She continues, “We're finally really pushing back and fighting for our profession. I would encourage people to push against things they don’t like, like the medication overuse or the staffing models at the chains. Our profession and our patients will benefit from it.”