THE main draw card for pharmacist’s Mark and Monica Rafla to open a pharmacy in Great Western is the opportunity to spend more time caring for customers.
Mr Rafla has been a pharmacist for seven years and Mrs Rafla has been a pharmacist for two years.
As well as opening the new Hope Pharmacy in Great Western, Mr and Mrs Rafla also run Halls Gap Fair Price Chemist and Dunkeld Pharmacy.
Mr Rafla said in smaller communities they have the opportunity in their industry to spend more time with customers.
“We are able to build a closer connection with customers,” he said.
“Opening a pharmacy in Great Western is a good opportunity.”
The pharmacy is located on Western Highway.
“It’s the only pharmacy on Western Highway, besides UFS Beaufort Pharmacy in Beaufort,” Mr Rafla said.
The foundation of Rafla’s business is accessibility.
“By being in the location we are in, it means people in Great Western don’t necessarily have to travel for medicine,” he said.
“Some people may struggle with transport to get medicine. For a pharmacy to open in the community, it is life changing for some people.”
Hope Pharmacy is the first pharmacy to have opened in years at Great Western.
“We also offer home delivery for customers in Great Western who might not be able to access the pharmacy,” Mr Rafla said.
While the pharmacy is along the Western Highway, the entrance is accessible, Mr Rafla said.
“Customers can drive to the front of the store and we can run the medication out to them. Our foundation is accessibility, it’s what we aim for.”
The pharmacy hasn’t been open for long, but Mr Rafla said Hope Pharmacy has received positive feedback so far.
The pharmacy offers free webster packaging. Webster packaging is a sealed weekly calendar pack designed to help people take their medication correctly, according to their doctor’s orders. All regular medication that needs to be taken each week is sealed within the blister compartments.
“I became a pharmacist seven years a go because I wanted to go to patient care. It’s an opportunity to help people and to care for customers,” he said.