Nantucket Cottage Hospital cut the ribbon on its new pharmacy at 10 Vesper Lane Wednesday morning.
The “Nantucket Cottage Pharmacy” will open to the public on Monday, Aug 30th, with operating hours of 8am to 5pm daily.
The pharmacy, which will fill prescriptions but does not have a retail component, is a partnership between Allan Bell, owner of Island Pharmacy and the hospital. It is located in the building previously utilized by the hospital for its foundation and development offices, and most recently as a call center for the primary care clinic.
Bell approached the hospital about the possibility of a partnership last year, as he intends to close the pharmacy department at Island Pharmacy on Pleasant Street, while his Main Street operation at Nantucket Pharmacy remains intact.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital President and CEO Gary Shaw said the new venture was pursued to help sustain pharmacy services on the island under the umbrella of the hospital, rather than allow a national chain like CVS to move in as Bell steps away from his pharmacy business.
“This is the right solution for us, so it allows us to have the right medications at the right time for the right people, all the time, and that’s the win,” Shaw said.
Nantucket Cottage Pharmacy (NCP) will be absorbing the pharmacy operations of Island Pharmacy, and during the transition patients that had recently had their prescriptions filled at Island Pharmacy will have their scripts automatically transferred to NCP.
Bell had been pursued by the national pharmacy chains for years but says he chose NCH for its roots in the community and connection to patients: “There will be continuity, as I begin to step away from Island Pharmacy after 32 years.”
NCH hopes the new pharmacy will allow patients to have one-stop shopping during medical appointments, allowing them to leave the campus with prescriptions in hand. It also wants the pharmacy to evolve into a new revenue stream that could support its operations that typically lose money.
“Generally the Nantucket Cottage Hospital operates at a loss month to month, we believe that over time the Nantucket Cottage Pharmacy will result in a positive contribution to our bottom line and allow us to reinvest in other parts of the hospital, such as primary care,” hospital public information manager James Lanza said.
“We’ll do everything we can to make, we want to be here for the residents of the island and visitors, and we’re going to be here for a long time,” said hospital pharmacist Dave Small. The new pharmacy will be staffed by two full-time pharmacists and three pharmacy techs. Several of the new pharmacy staff members have moved over from Island Pharmacy.
While a part of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the pharmacy will accept prescriptions from all providers throughout the island.