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The Drug Store to change ownership

The Drug Store location on Center Drive in Lincolnton.

The Drug Store location on Center Drive in Lincolnton.

Group of pharmacists to keep Lincolnton, Vale locations open; Boger City to close

ANNIE BLACKBURN
Staff Writer

On the first of August, patients that rely on The Drug Store for their medications, immunizations and medical equipment won’t notice many changes. They will still be greeted by the same friendly faces. They will still be able to talk to the same pharmacists and they will still be able to visit the same locations. What will change, however, is the ownership.
In early July, George Brookins, registered pharmacist and owner of the three-store chain, made the decision to sell the business. It wasn’t long after that The Drug Store’s own Pharmacists stepped up to take charge.
Laura Dunston has been with The Drug Store for four years. The Lincoln County native and graduate of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC-Chapel Hill, pharmacist Ryan Hull and several other partners will vacillate between the Lincolnton and Vale locations in an effort to continue to serve the patients that put their trust in them on a daily basis. In fact, it was the crucial doctor/patient relationship that played a deciding factor in Dunston’s decision to buy into The Drug Store.
“Of course, patients were the first thing I thought about and relationships that I had developed with the patients I wanted to keep,” Dunston said. “This was a great location, in my mind, so I had to think about it very carefully, then I was excited. It was what I wanted to do.”
The Lincolnton and Vale locations will still serve their patients’ needs, but Boger City clientele were notified of the decision to close the location permanently, their records having been sent to Sentry Drug, just across Main Street next to Bank of America. Patients were also advised, as per law, that they are not required to keep their records anywhere they do not choose.
Though the decision to change hands wasn’t widely known, Dunston hopes that most patients will notice very little change at all, and what they do notice will be for the better. The Drug Store will retain the name it has built its reputation upon, as well as the established locations in Lincolnton at 626 Center Drive and Vale at 9576 West Highway 10. The store will continue to sell medical equipment, provide immunizations and comprehensive medication reviews and delivery service. The one change that patients are bound to notice, however, is the prices.
“We will have a little bit of lower pricing,” Dunston said.
A common concern that patients aware of the move have expressed was that they would lose the pharmacists they’ve developed relationships with, but Dunston emphasized that all of the pharmacists that the community has grown to trust and depend upon would be staying.
“We will still have Chris Brogden and Alma Rhyne and Susie Holder,” Dunston said. “They will all be there with me in Lincolnton.”
Pharmacist Ryan Hull will be working with Dunston in the Lincolnton and Vale locations. Boger City pharmacist Lynne McDonald will be working in the Vale location as well.
Patients that contact the Boger City location will be directed to Sentry Drug. For more information, contact either Drug Store location at (704) 735-2556 for the Lincolnton location or (704) 462-0226 for the Vale location.

Image courtesy of Jaclyn Anthony / Lincoln Times-News

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