September 22, 2018
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  • Park Pharmacy owner Steve Wells said customer service is the biggest priority for his business.
    Photo by Zach Sparks
    Park Pharmacy owner Steve Wells said customer service is the biggest priority for his business.

Park Pharmacy Has The Prescription For Longevity

Zach Sparks
View Bio
June 27, 2018

Local Business Celebrates Three Decades Of Service

When Steve Wells was a child, the pharmacy was a welcoming place where a clerk would greet him and his grandfather with a smile and provide whatever medicine they needed. For more than 30 years as owner of Park Pharmacy, Wells has provided that same friendly neighborhood service.

“We offer free home delivery, personal service and quick prescription filling,” Wells said. “Here, people might wait five to 10 minutes. Other places, they might have to wait an hour or until the next day.”

Wells took possession of the space in June 1987 but officially opened in October of that year. As technology changed, so did the industry.

“There were no computers, just typewriters,” he said. “You’d have to type on the label, and insurance billing was done by handwritten claim forms.”

Despite changes in technology, personal interaction is still the primary reason people patronize Park Pharmacy.

“Everybody loves Steve,” said manager Jo Green. “They’re comfortable with him because they trust him.”

That goes for anyone, whether they’re coming in to get a prescription for a cold or for cancer. While the shop now has 14 or 15 employees, customers can still expect to find Wells at the store.

But it hasn’t all been easy. The medical industry has put a strain on small businesses. “The reimbursements are getting lower and the copays are getting higher,” Wells said.

That hasn’t deterred the pharmacy from being reliable. Green said that prices are competitive with the ones offered at grocery or chain stores. “Just because a doctor doesn’t list [Park Pharmacy] doesn’t mean you can’t go there,” she said, dispelling one misconception.

Part of being a neighborhood pharmacy is giving back to the area. Wells and his staff advertise in the Severna Park High School yearbook, and through a partnership with the local nonprofit SPAN, Park Pharmacy gives medicine at-cost to people who otherwise could not afford it.

As for the rest of the population, Park Pharmacy has made strides to keep up with technology and make its service as convenient as possible. Currently, its system sends voicemails and text messages to anyone who is due for a refill. Wells said a mobile phone app is coming soon, allowing people to order their own refills via that method if they choose.

As for the next milestone Wells will celebrate, it will surely be a much bigger one than anyone anticipated when he opened his business.

“When I started in 1987, there were stories saying that independent pharmacies would all be out of business soon, and then five years later they would say the same thing, and they’re saying the same thing today,” Wells said. “But I think there are always going to be independent pharmacies.”

Park Pharmacy is located in the Park Plaza shopping center at 580 Ritchie Highway. Hours are 9:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday and 9:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday. Call 410-544-7275 for more information.

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