When it comes to the current state of health care in the United States, blame is cast in many directions. The reality is that one of the biggest stressors on our health care system can be explained in two words: patient compliance.
Patient compliance is defined as the degree or extent to which a patient follows or completes a prescribed diagnostic, treatment or preventative procedure. When it comes to prescriptions, the numbers are particularly surprising.
“If I asked you what percentage of prescriptions written in America go unfilled, what would you say?” asked Jason Sabouri, co-owner of North Coast Medical Pharmacy.
You might be surprised to learn that the number is 30 to 40 percent. So for every 100 prescriptions written, 30 to 40 of them never get properly administered to the patient.
Sabouri used an example of a patient seeing a doctor for a respiratory issue. That patient might be prescribed an inhaler. They might not ever pick up their inhaler, or perhaps they pick it up but find it is too difficult to use. This same patient might end up checking into the hospital because the issue was left untreated. Now you’ve got a patient whose issue could have been treated with proper use of a prescription, but now they are hospitalized for an entirely treatable issue. Multiply this scenario by the number of prescriptions that never make it into the hands of the patient and it is easy to see how this could strain our health care system.
North Coast Medical Pharmacy in Encinitas employs a two-pronged business model that helps to combat this problem. First, they are an independent pharmacy. This is increasingly rare as chain pharmacies are pushing out their independent competitors across the country. In fact, North Coast Medical Pharmacy is the only remaining independent and family-run pharmacy in Encinitas.
As an independent pharmacy, they are able to offer high-end customer service to their patients. Co-owner and pharmacist Justin Sabouri works Monday through Saturday to ensure his customers receive personalized continual care from a pharmacist they can count on. The ongoing relationship with customers creates trust. Patients are encouraged to ask questions, which increases the probability that they are going to follow through with using their prescription properly.
Justin Sabouri, Pharm.D, is a graduate of USC School of Pharmacy. He makes an effort to counsel patients regarding their prescriptions to the point that they feel comfortable. Patients don’t have to deal with a revolving staff of pharmacists who are too busy to spend time with them, and they come to know the Sabouris well.
Another perk of using an independent pharmacy is that is saves time. “You get your prescriptions faster,” Jason Sabouri said. “We want to get you where you need to be — at home, resting.”
The second prong in North Coast Medical Pharmacy’s patient-friendly business model is that they are a compounding pharmacy. What this means is that they make individualized drugs for patients with specific needs that can’t be met with commercially available drugs. As a compounding pharmacy, North Coast Medical Pharmacy takes into account that no two patients are exactly the same. Differences in body weight or allergies, for example, can affect a patient’s needs and with the ability to create specified drugs on site, patients have access to tailor-made prescriptions that address their needs without any ingredients that they don’t.
North Coast Medical Pharmacy is a family-run business. Brothers Justin and Jason Sabouri are Encinitas residents who take pride in helping their neighbors by offering service that no other Encinitas pharmacy can. In a time where prescriptions can be filled on just about every street corner in the city, Jason Sabouri realizes the value in being an independent pharmacy.
“At a chain pharmacy, the patient is just a prescription,” he said. “Here they are more than that. Our patients are our friends, and we want to provide them with a Nordstrom-level quality of customer service.”
The Sabouri brothers are big supporters of the shop local movement, and that’s why they continue to do business to Encinitas and remain independent in a world dominated by chain pharmacies. Jason Sabouri noted that many people aren’t aware that Encinitas has a compounding pharmacy. Often people are sending their prescriptions out of state to get filled, not realizing that they can save the shipping costs — and keep it local — by using North Coast Medical Pharmacy.
North Coast Medical Pharmacy is located at 477 N. El Camino Real, #B101 in Encinitas. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (760) 943-1191 for more information.