Statistics from 2020 show there were 315,470 pharmacists in the United States, placing one in nearly every community across the country. January 12 is National Pharmacist Day, which allows customers to honor those who have such a huge impact on our well-being.

Fyffe Pharmacy has a long history of helping its community. The Pharmacy first opened in 1965 when Lowell Barron (Alabama Senator from 1982 to 2010) opened the doors. The store has been owned and operated since 2007 by, husband and wife team, Brandon and Cheree Rains.

Brandon and Cheree were both raised in Fyffe and both of their families each made purchases of pharmaceuticals, at the Fyffe Pharmacy, when they were just infants . When the Rains purchased the pharmacy, they began to clean out the storage room and found evidence of this. The couple framed and hung on the wall of the store some of the prescriptions from the 70s that their parents had purchased for them as babies.

Both Brandon and Cheree credit family friend, and longtime pharmacist, Reggie Jones for their paths to becoming pharmacists. Both husband and wife are graduates of Auburn University and were married in 1994.

The Rains agree what they like best about being pharmacists is being able to help the community of people they have known their entire lives. They also agree that the hardest part of their jobs is dealing with insurance companies.

They want their customers to be proactive in their medical treatments. “We encourage our customers to ask questions,” said Brandon. “We want them to understand drug interactions and what the best time is to take a particular medication. Some medications are best utilized when taken at a particular time of day.” The couple try to educate their customers about the dangers of keeping prescriptions too long. While some medications only lose their potency, others actually can become poisonous over time.

Brandon said the reason pharmacies often sell gifts, greeting cards, and other non-medical items is because at one time the local pharmacy was all a small town had besides a grocery store. Over time small towns have seen small department stores cropping up, but the Rains find their customers like the “dollar aisle” and other merchandise they put on their shelves such as cleaning supplies, T-shirts, candles, hats, and scarfs. “Back in the 80s it was your local pharmacy that sold light bulbs, hammers, and school supplies because the local grocery store didn’t sell these items,” said Brandon. “It kept people from having to drive long distances to larger towns.”

The Fyffe Pharmacy offers curbside service since their building is boxed in by other structures which does not allow for a drive-thru. When the pandemic started, they especially utilized this method and still offer it to the customers who prefer this service.

The pharmacy offers many types of vaccinations. “We offer COVID-19, shingles, flu, tetanus, phenomena, and more,” said Cheree. “We will make house calls when necessary to serve our community. We also check blood pressure and when necessary, we have performed wound care.”

A pharmacist has to continue their education throughout their career. They are required to take thirty hours of ongoing education in every two-year period to keep up to date with the development of medications. Pharmacists are our neighborhood link to better health, be sure to thank one today.

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday editions.

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