LAURINBURG — Laurinburg now has “a hometown pharmacy” owned and operated by a hometown guy.
Laurinburg native Douglas Yongue Jr. opened Health Innovations Pharmacy of Laurinburg on Sept. 21.
“I had worked at the Medicine Shoppe for many years and became accustomed to giving superior service to people,” said Yongue, who is co-owner of the Laurinburg store and serves as the pharmacist manager. “Then after working for a major chain for the last year and half, we found that we couldn’t give the level of service that we wanted to.
“So we decided to open up another independent pharmacy where we would have the leeway and ability to make decisions that would help people more.”
The Scotland High School graduate worked as a pharmacist in High Point before returning home in 1995 to work at the Medicine Shoppe. He most recently served as a pharmacist with Rite Aid.
Yongue has a pharmacy degree from the UNC School of Pharmacy. He also holds a certified immunologist certificate from the UNC School of Pharmacy and a compounding certificate. He served as a pharmacist member with the Scotland County Board of Health from 1999 to 2008.
The business also employs Karen Lighthall, a certified pharmacy technician with 25 years of pharmacy experience and Julie Pittman, a certified pharmacy technician with 10 years of pharmacy experience.
Stacey Yongue, Doug’s wife, also works at the store, assisting with customer service, social media and as a pharmacy technician
Services at the 3,000-square foot store include: prescriptions, immunizations, over-the-counter medications, Nebulizers, and blood glucose monitors.
Most prescriptions are filled in 10 to 15 minutes, according to Yongue.
“We have a prescription department and the normal mix of cough and cold as well as home health items,” Yongue said. “We even have a dollar aisle.”
The store also has access to a compounding lab to offer customized medications using state-of-the art technology based on a doctor’s prescription.
Yongue said the lab can assist with unique dosages and formulations. For example, the pharmacy can flavor medications for children or formulate a transdermal gel to deliver medication through the skin.
“The compounding lab means we can make custom medications for people if they cannot tolerate certain dyes or fillers in medicines or if their doses are not commercially made,” Yongue said. “We can obtain those things through our Southern Pines location.”
From now until the end of the year, the new pharmacy will also provide a few select antibiotics for free to those with prescriptions for them.
“That way people can familiarize themselves with our services and there is no excuse not to come by and see us,” he said with a smile.
The store also offers a covered drive-thru and a delivery service within a five-mile radius of the pharmacy.
“The drive-thru window is an actual window where you can to talk to a real person and don’t have talk through a speaker or deal with a metal drawer,” he said. “We’re happy to have that.”
The pharmacy accepts most insurance.
The Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce will a host ribbon cutting and grand opening at the store this morning, beginning at 11 a.m.
During today’s event, the store plans to give away a 46-inch television. Visitors will also have a chance to win a $50 store gift certificate by guessing the number of candies in a huge medicine bottle on the store’s counter.
There will also be hot dogs served.
Health Innovations is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 pm. The business is closed on Sundays.
The pharmacy is located at 901 S.Main St. in Laurinburg.
Tim Clark started Health Innovations in 2001 with locations in Southern Pines and Sanford. Clark and Yongue met in pharmacy school.
You can reach the shop at 910-361-4731 or online at www.hiplbg.com
Reach editor Scott Witten at 910-506-3023.