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New independent pharmacy brings personal touch

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An independent pharmacy with a personal touch has opened in Hamilton.

Total Health Chemist, in Butterfield Place on Front Street, is owned and operated by the pharmacist team of Eimear Burke and Rebecca White, two veterans of the pharmacy landscape in Bermuda who say their new venture fills a market gap.

The outlet is not affiliated with any other pharmacy on-island.

Ms Burke, a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said: “Rebecca and I were most desirous of opening a pharmacy that brings healthcare back to basics, essentially combining old world with the new world. In other words, a pharmacy that concentrates on your total health.”

She added: “For us this means not being an ancillary afterthought in a grocery store, department store or candy aisle extension or affiliated with any doctor’s office. It means being a stand-alone, totally independent pharmacy offering a full range of services that you would expect to see in days gone by at a local chemist, where you know your pharmacist and your pharmacist knows you.

“I think most people believe that pharmacists simply dispense medications issued by a doctor, but more often than not patients in need of care will call a pharmacy for medical advice or pop in to ask for help before they visit a doctor. Knowing your pharmacist helps greatly in assessing the needs of a patient. Continuity of care is paramount.”

Mrs White, a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, added: “With at least one, if not both, of us in the pharmacy every day save for Sundays – although we accept appointments on Sundays – you are guaranteed continuity of care. Most people have a preferred hairdresser, doctor or lawyer and would not dream of going to just anyone, so why should that be any different for a pharmacist?”

The pharmacy features a private consultation room to allow for confidential conversations between patients and pharmacists, which Ms Burke said “has already been embraced by our patients, a place where you can discuss your healthcare needs without half of Bermuda overhearing you. This concept is already well known in Ireland where I trained and I was keen to bring that to Bermuda.”

The duo said their philosophy is that a pharmacy is the focal point of healthcare, frequented by both the healthy and the sick.

Ms Burke added: “Good health is not just the absence of ill health, rather a combination of the physical, mental and emotional well being. Therefore our product range supports total health, hence our name.”

Products carried include preventive and prophylactic over-the-counter medicines, reputable health and beauty brands, a comprehensive Lipotrim weight maintenance and weight loss product range, a CBD line, and healthy food snacks and beverages.

The pharmacy also caters to veterinary medicine and prescription needs.

Services offered include blister packing medication, custom compounding of medicine, prescription management, delivery of medication for seniors, and consultation services.

Total Health Chemist is located in the 650-square-foot space that was formerly occupied by Kirk’s Jewellery Design and Repairs.

Mrs White said: “We wanted to be in a central location that had ease of accessibility for the physically challenged, was in a secure location, had storage and obviously did not already have a pharmacy next door. What is more accessible and secure than premises in a bank building? We also have a good-sized, totally secure warehouse on site that allows us to store our pharmaceuticals and other products.”

She added: “We have tried to bring the feeling of the old world pharmacy to the space by displaying pharmacy artefacts in a modern setting combining that with old world pharmacy offerings in terms of what we sell and what services we offer.”

Mrs White said the duo’s nearly 35 years of combined experience, and training in different locales, equips the new venture with “a unique set of skills and practice together under one roof”.

She added: “We believe that with our passion for the profession and pragmatic approach to healthcare we can help raise the pharmacy bar higher in Bermuda and raise the expectations patients should have of their pharmacists.”

Ms Burke said: “We intend to be a different pharmacy to what is currently available in Bermuda. This is just the beginning.”

Total Health Chemist is open Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm, Saturday from 10am until 4pm and Sunday by appointment.

Independent approach: Pharmacists Rebecca White, right, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Personal touch: Pharmacist Rebecca White provides assistance (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Eimear Burke: Has opened Total Health Chemist with Rebecca White (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Central location: Rebecca White, left, and Eimear Burke have opened Total Health Chemist in Butterfield Place on Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published January 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 26, 2021 at 10:22 am)

New independent pharmacy brings personal touch

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