Pharma1 Pharmacy & Wellness Center in McKinney, TX is not your average pharmacy. As soon as you step through the door, you get a relaxed, spa-like feel from all of the hanging greenery and the soft blue and white furnishings. It’s a clean, simple look that is inviting and comforting. Owner Tabraiz Khan explains that the entire design concept was based on this exact goal 一 for people to come into the pharmacy and feel good. After working for big box pharmacies for 10 years, he branched out to open his own independent storefront. He wanted it to be unique and stand apart from the norm, so he had interior designers fly in from Italy to help bring his pharmacy to life and create a lasting first impression for his customers. To Tabraiz, this was an important investment into his pharmacy’s patient experience and overall branding as a one-stop health and wellness center.
Once he had achieved the perfect look for his new pharmacy, the next step was building out his pharmacy’s unique services. A good-looking pharmacy will draw customers into your store, but the actual services and customer experience will make them stay. Pharma1 is known for their specialty compounding, practitioner-grade vitamins and supplements, medical supplies and equipment, and other therapeutic alternatives and health resources. This helps set them apart in their community and draws in customers from all around the DFW area who are looking for very specific products and services. For Tabraiz Khan, the first step to building this pharmacy was choosing the right software that would support all of his ideas.
When he first opened Pharma1 about 3 years ago, Tabraiz Khan chose PioneerRx as his pharmacy software from day one. He had heard good things from his professional peers and ended up deciding that PioneerRx was the right fit. “PioneerRx Pharmacy Software is honestly the most asked-about, number-one rated system out there,” begins Khan. “I knew I would eventually be getting into compounding, so I needed a standalone software that could do a little bit of everything, and that [led me] to PioneerRx. And it was just really simple to use, so I love the convenience of it.”
Pharmacist-in-Charge Matthew Kamphaus recently joined the Pharma1 team after, he too, decided to leave the world of chain pharmacy. Matthew says he loves being able to get to know patients more and go above and beyond to help get them exactly what they need. He had also heard good things about the PioneerRx software and was looking forward to using it in his new role. “PioneerRx has been super easy to learn and use on a daily basis,” explains Kamphaus.
Equipped with the right tools, the Pharma1 team has been able to make an impact on hundreds of lives and help their patients reach their unique health goals.
Compounding has become a significant part of Pharma1’s business, so much so that they are opening a brand new, sterile compounding lab at a separate location to take care of all their compounding orders. “PioneerRx is the pharmacy software system that we're going to be using in our new location as well, because it integrates with [other parts of our workflow] beautifully,” says Tabraiz.
When asked about his greatest customer success story in helping a patient, Tabraiz responds, “I think we do that pretty much every single day, to be honest with you.” He explains that the compounding aspect of their pharmacy enables them to improve patients’ quality of life on a daily basis. They partner with local doctors to fulfill specialty compounding needs, including a medication for Autistic children with speech impediments. “That compound itself has helped hundreds of kids so far. We partner with a doctor in the area that sends all those compound prescriptions just to our pharmacy. I've had mothers come back and tell me that our compound has made a significant difference in their kids' lives.” Since the medication only comes in tablet form, which can be difficult for some autistic patients to swallow, a specially compounded form of the medication is their only option - in comes Pharma1.
They also focus on compounding specialized thyroid medications, and you can find various books within their front-end about improving quality of life with thyroid disorders. Their front-end displays are filled with a variety of healthy lifestyle books, medical supplies and equipment, OTC products, and vitamins and supplements. “We try to stay away from more of the traditional stuff that you find at the big box stores like CVS and Walgreens. We're more of a specialty pharmacy and we carry a variety of vitamins and supplements that are practitioner-grade only,” Tabraiz elaborates. “As far as compounding goes, we try to specialize more into making prescriptions that really aren't readily available out there. We partner with local doctors that are into specialty and functional medicine, and who want to do some out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving 一 and we help them achieve that.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, there was a profound shift in consumer behavior. Pharma1 owner Tabraiz Khan knew that customers would be quickly moving their shopping habits online, so he decided to create an online store for his OTC and front-end products. While this helped keep them in business in the early days of the pandemic when their storefront had to close down, the online store continues to be an important part of their business. In addition to adding convenience for current customers, advertising products online also helps bring in new customers from their surrounding area in Dallas.
“Google has been a godsend for us,” emphasizes Khan. Their online advertising through Google has helped boost sales and attract new customers. After completing their LegitScript certification, they have been able to advertise their certified healthcare products online and cast their net to a wider audience. Tabraiz also mentions that they use Pointy, a tool that helps upload their available products for sale on the Pointy database 一 yet another way to reach more potential customers. Pharma1 knows the importance of getting the word out there and actively reaching customers anywhere that they are searching.
In order to boost their online presence and reputation, they also encourage customers to leave Yelp and Google reviews. In a smart move to give their patients an incentive to leave a review, they have a sign displayed at their point-of-sale that offers 10% off all OTC and other front-end items in exchange for a quick review. The sign boldly calls out the 10 percent discount to grab your attention, and has corresponding QR codes for both their Yelp and Google profiles. This makes it quick and easy for customers to pull out their phone, scan the code, and leave a review.
Watch this clip from the Catalyst Pharmacy Podcast to learn more about the power of customer feedback and why you should always directly ask your customers to leave a review.
In the world of independent community pharmacy, the possibilities are endless. Entrepreneurs are able to design their business exactly how they see fit and incorporate the products and services that they are passionate about. Tabraiz Khan has built a unique experience at Pharma1, and they continue to grow their customer base each day as they expand into new markets. They are also able to stay in tune with industry updates by being involved in multiple organizations such as the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding (APC), Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), and their local Chamber of Commerce.
And, while the possibilities may be endless ー it doesn’t mean you have to implement them all. Pharma1 has found success by honing in on a few key characteristics that are easily identifiable and make them stand out in their community. How is your pharmacy straying from the cookie-cutter approach?
PioneerRx would like to give a huge thank you to the team at Pharma1 Pharmacy & Wellness Center for participating in this pharmacy spotlight. All photos were taken by members of the PioneerRx Marketing Team onsite at Pharma1 in McKinney, TX.