Last week, the people in Naples, NY were upset when they found out that their only pharmacy – the Naples Pharmacy – was closing its doors. The owner, Larry Jepsen, who has been ill, has sold his prescription records to the CVS pharmacy in Wayland, NY. The CVS in Wayland which is 25 miles away, will deliver prescriptions to Naples free of charge. But that did not sit very well with the folks in Naples, NY.
At first, I wasn’t very sympathetic. After all, we have an over abundance of drug stores here in Canandaigua along with the pharmacies at Wegmans and Wal-Mart. And in my own case, I receive the majority of my prescription drugs from folks that I have never met and who live thousands of miles from me. Send them the prescription, give them your charge card number, and my prescription drugs arrive in my mailbox. The process is very efficient if you can tolerate taking to an automated voice mail box: English or Spanish, state your name, what is your user card number (13 numbers and letters), when were you born, what is the prescription number you want, (I don’t know it’s a #*$% new one!), can you repeat that? Etc., etc., etc.
In days gone by the local pharmacist was a real asset to the family. If a family member was ill, had a rash, or needed some medical advice for any one of the hundreds of human conditions that can be treated with simple over the counter drugs, you spoke to your pharmacist. Today for the most part you are on your own. You either call your Doctor for an appointment and wait a few days, or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital if it hurts bad and has a temperature.
And then along came an entrepreneur named Ray Gignac who is planning on opening a pharmacy in Rushville, NY, an even smaller village than Naples, NY. Mr. Ray Gignac, who also owns a pharmacy in Brighton, will open his Rushville pharmacy in the spring. He is renovating the upstairs to serve as a second home for himself and is confident that he will establish a strong relationship with the community.
But isn’t entrepreneurship precisely what is missing in the Finger Lakes? Don’t we call Glenn Curtiss, C.W.Lisk, Dr. Henry Foster, or Theodore Case entrepreneurs because they saw a business need and went ahead and filled that need? It’s something to think about.