By Maria Cook
With the popularity of modern pharmacy chains, many people may have never visited an independent pharmacy. Carmel Prescription shop, an independently-owned and operated pharmacy located at 1001 W. Main Street, is aiming to change that.
Opened in November 2018 by Saumiin Calcuttawala and Austin Patel, Carmel Prescription Shop offers pharmacy and compounding services, immunizations and free prescription delivery within the Carmel area. According to Calcuttawala, who has worked as a pharmacist for more than 20 years and lived in Carmel since 2003, Carmel Prescription Shop was born of a desire to provide personalized care to customers.
“At one point, I was one of the people who helped start the Sam’s Club pharmacies. What I liked about it the most is that it was built from scratch, those pharmacies were very personable. There was a lot of personal service,” Calcuttawala said. “All pharmacists work hard, no matter where they work, to provide skill and knowledge to patients. But with an independent pharmacy, there’s more nimbleness. Coming from a chain background myself, we’re locked into store policies. I could never do delivery at a Walmart, for example.”
Carmel Prescription Shop’s compounding services are one example of services not available at most chain pharmacies. Compounding allows pharmacists to customize patients’ medications in ways that are not commercially available, such as making dosages which are alcohol-free, preservative free or by combining medications together into a single dosage.
“We are able to fill all prescriptions that other pharmacies can, plus more. We try to offer the convenience that other places do. We have a full service drive-through and a delivery model,” Calcuttawala said. “We’re trying to be that hometown pharmacy, where you have the ability to reach a pharmacist quickly by phone or email. Sometimes it’s a challenge to communicate, in a chain setting. We want to offer a level of access that’s not available at those places.”