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Multi-Pharmacy Owner Says PrimeRx has been a Gamechanger in Linking Stores and Adding Efficiency

Brooklyn, New York-based pharmacy owner Mike Bakayev got his start in pharmacy operations when he was hired as “the delivery guy” for a local family-owned operation.  From there, he says he slowly worked his way up, eventually taking charge of overall sales.  “It was a very old-school, community-focused environment in which the need for patient service was at the heart of everything we did,” Bakayev says.

“It was a great way to learn the pharmacy business,” he adds, and Bakayev carried that “patient first” sentiment as he struck out on his own, building a network of pharmacies that spans Brooklyn’s densely-populated, ethnically diverse neighborhoods.  Bakayev purchased his first pharmacy, FriendlyRx in 2010.  Since then, he established the Coney Island Chemist network of independent pharmacies, which currently includes 11 locations.

“Each pharmacy is dedicated to the people who live nearby,” Bakayev says.  “We strive to truly know each patient, and make sure we’re on top of their medications, and give them the attention they deserve.”  Like many pharmacy owners, Bakayev says the realities of today’s pharmacy environment can make it challenging to meet those objectives, and cites obstacles including DIR fees, reimbursements, and lack of visibility into patient refills and other processes.

“Reimbursements,” he says, is an especially big pain point.  

“We lose money on many of our medications.  Still, we don’t want to lose the patient.”