MEET: Palm Bay Pharmacy
Ramy Salama became a pharmacist with the goal of helping patients find quality medical solutions to their health issues. After graduating from Long Island University, he and his wife, Marina, who’s also a pharmacist, moved to Florida and found jobs working for large retail pharmacies.
But after seven years, Ramy Salama found himself increasingly frustrated with his job. Retail pharmacies were profit-driven rather than patient centered, and he was continually being asked to do more with less.
“It was all about cutting budgets and saving money, but had nothing to do with being a pharmacist,” Salama said. “If someone came in and had a question about their medication, I wouldn’t even have a few minutes to give the proper counseling to the patient, which is my main job.”
The addition of COVID testing and vaccines made the job even more difficult. So he decided to make a change and start his own independent pharmacy.
In August 2020, Salama took a leap of faith and opened Palm Bay Pharmacy, which he describes as a modern pharmacy with old-school values.
Palm Bay Pharmacy offers many services customers can’t get from a larger retail store. Like having prescriptions delivered the same day, at no cost. Salama often delivers the orders himself so he can meet the patients who can’t come in.
Their prices are competitive, too. Palm Bay Pharmacy stocks low-cost generic drugs, and many of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics are free. New patients can even get a $10 gift card for transferring their prescriptions.
Customers can come to Palm Bay Pharmacy for an onsite rapid COVID test, handy if they need fast results to attend an event or travel. Traditional tests are covered by insurance and patients can get results in two or three days. COVID vaccines and boosters also are available.
Salama believes a pharmacist’s place is out with his patients, not behind the counter. He is willing to go the extra mile for his customers, taking the time to go through each one’s profile and learn about all of the medications he or she is taking.
“We make sure we have a personal relationship with everyone that comes in,” Salama said. Everyone comes with a story.”
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