Patients rely on independent pharmacists for all sorts of things. They trust you’re dispensing the proper medication. They trust that you’ll have the prescription ready at a designated time.

You play a commanding role in their health journeys.

You can also recommend someone to fix their roof or trim their trees. That’s exactly where Tim Mitchell finds himself — the swiss army knife of his community.
Tim Mitchell and Mitchell's Drug Stores staff

As pharmacy owner of Mitchell’s Drug Stores in Neosho, Missouri, Tim has had decades' worth of experience with patient care.

Over that time, he’s learned that patient care often goes beyond the pharmacy — sometimes it doesn’t involve the pharmacy at all.

The Path to (Pharmacy) Independence

Tim Mitchell

Before he was the owner of Mitchell’s Drug Stores, Tim has long worked in the medical industry. After a couple of years of teaching, he decided to attend pharmacy school. He soon graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy.

“I wanted to do something in the medical field,” Tim says. “I wanted to do something that can help people and be appreciated for it. I had no idea it was going to mean becoming a pharmacist.”

After a year of working in the big chains, Tim noticed the constant micromanaging and red tape that comes with the job.

“I prefer being a freethinker and trying different things apart from what corporations prefer.”

His self-made expedition to pharmacy independence led him to Phillip Rozell, the then-owner of R&R Medical. After working there as a staff pharmacist, Tim purchased the pharmacy from Phillip, solidifying his status as a truly independent pharmacist.

Swiss Army Pharmacist

As we mentioned earlier, independent pharmacists wear all sorts of hats. Some of them have nothing to do with medicine. It’s what the white coat — the independent kind — brings. It instills trust and confidence in your patients.

Tim Mitchell is a shining example of that idea. For him — and indeed for many independent pharmacists around the country — the term “patient consultation” takes a new, pleasantly unexpected meaning.

“Sometimes people will come up to me asking who I recommend paving their driveway,” Tim says. “Others have asked me if I know anyone who can roof their house or trim their trees. It sounds funny but having those one-on-one conversations means a lot to me.”

The role of an independent pharmacist goes beyond talking to doctors or vaccinating their patients.

“The community pharmacist is one of the most trusted individuals in our community. People come here every day looking for answers to questions that I may not know but they’re still asking because they trust what we do, and that goes for every community pharmacist.”

Tim’s experience shows that patients trust their independent pharmacists for random advice — with the same wisdom and expertise they carry behind the pharmacy counter.

More Than a Pharmacy

Before Tim Mitchell established Mitchell’s Drug Stores, R&R Medical opened in 1992 with a pharmacist and two technicians.

More than three decades later, Mitchell’s has become a certified healthcare destination.

Its three locations (Mitchell’s On The Boulevard, Mitchell’s Downtown Pharmacy, and Mitchell’s Long Term Care) now employ 30 individuals including 6 pharmacists.

Mitchell’s Drug Stores offer a slew of exceptional pharmacy services, including immunizations, delivery, point-of-care testing, and a PakMyMeds program (lovingly titled Mitchell’s Rapid Pak Program).

If there’s a test for timeliness, Mitchell’s Drug Stores passes with flying colors. But they don’t stop there.

Independent pharmacies can be a loving reflection of the community and the people who work there — and Mitchell’s is no exception.

Putting the “Family” in “Family Business”

Tim Mitchell and his children, Taylor and Tanner

Tanner Mitchell, Tim’s son and staff pharmacist for Mitchell’s, also sells plants at the On The Boulevard location.

It’s all about “plants and positivity” for Plants by Tanner and rightfully so: plants are a fantastic accessory to pull the room — or pharmacy — together.

For more information on the power of plants, check out our “Why You Need an Indoor Plant” on the RxLocal website.

Beyond father and son, Tim’s daughter Taylor handles the pharmacies’ marketing and human resources.

Not to mention, she also sells custom-made clothing in the pharmacy. Simply put, Mitchell’s is there for all your healthcare, botany, and fashion needs.

Tim and Tanner might already sound familiar to listeners of the Behind the Scripts podcast. Their appearance on the podcast saw them discuss the family business and the bright future of Mitchell’s and the independent pharmacy scene.

Click here to watch or listen to their appearance on the podcast.

Perfecting the Pharmacy Craft

Mitchell’s Drug Stores’ place in the Neosho community speaks for itself. Tim’s experience is a perfect example of how a pharmacist can be a trusted member of the community, even in matters beyond pharmacy.

At its core, beyond the clothes and plants, Mitchell’s is a certified healthcare destination, where quality patient care is the top priority. 20 years after purchasing the pharmacy, Tim shows no sign of slowing down.

“I see us still dispensing medicine,” he says. “We already do a lot of medication adherence and packaging programs, so I see [Mitchell’s] going more into home care.”

He also hopes that the payer model changes in the future, mentioning how PBMs hold a large amount of influence in the industry.

“If we can get PBMs out of the picture, I think we can really surprise people and how affordably we can sell medications.”  

Our “The State of Pharmacy Benefit Managers [2023] Report” details how independent pharmacists feel about the role of PBMs in the industry.

The future is bright for Mitchell’s Drug Stores. Though there may be bumps in the road ahead, it’s up to the pharmacist to come up with an innovative solution.

Mitchell’s Drug Stores are a phenomenal example of innovating through adversity, a trait that shows no sign of slowing down.
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