Medicine Shoppe accounts safe

When a door closes another one opens — literally in the pharmacy business.

Recently, the Morro Bay Medicine Shoppe, owned by the John Zalesny family, closed because of retirement.

Industry protocol dictates all accounts be transferred to another area pharmacy. So if the Zalesnys filled your prescriptions, your records are safe and immediately accessible at Cayucos Pharmacy on Ocean Boulevard.

“We understand not all of the Morro Bay Medicine Shoppe customers will stay with us,” said Malin Lebbad, owner and pharmacist in Cayucos since 1988.

“Our agreement with the Zalesnys is to fill their customer’s prescriptions or transfer their records where they would prefer,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.”

Typical of a community-minded Cayucos Citizen of the Year, Lebbad was quick to recommend that transfer options were available at Los Osos Rexall, Los Osos Medicine Shoppe and area Rite Aid stores.

And in this era of changes to our health care system, Lebbad has strong feelings about using the talents and dedication of a community pharmacist.

“Typically, a community pharmacist is also the business owner and trained to take care of his neighbors’ medical needs day after day, year after year,” Lebbad said. “My entire family works here. We know our customers — see them several times a month.”

Lebbad feels he is a critical partner on his customers’ medical team.

If the patient forgets to ask the right questions or is confused about a diagnosis or treatment, Lebbad is available to advise with no appointment necessary.

Patient questions vary, such as side-effect information, which Medicare plan and provider to choose or which physician might match the customer’s personality and needs.

Regardless of multiple physicians, the pharmacist is the keeper of a computerized history of customers’ prescriptions, avoiding conflicting drugs. And a community pharmacist is trained to give injections, monitor diabetes and test blood pressure.

Lebbad suggests the community pharmacist is not more costly.

“Generally for cash customers we can be less expensive. For the insured, we’re bound by the same co-pay dictated by the insurance company. The pharmacist is often the patient advocate to identify a less-expensive generic alternative.”

Also typical is unique merchandise for everyday and gift buying needs. Plus, they deliver.

Cayucos Pharmacy is family owned and operated.

Formerly from Fresno, Lebbad met his wife Sheila his first day working for Charlie Clark. He married his co-worker in 1989 and bought Clark’s store in 1991. His three daughters work with them: Jennifer Molinari, Anna Zavala and Lyndi Whetsel.

Reach Judy Salamacha at jsalamacha@yahoo.com or 801-1422.