The Washington State Pharmacy employs technology for traditional dispensing and in Its compounding lab.
Malley's Compounding Pharmacy in Richland, Washington, aims to create an environment that is welcoming while also employing the latest technology, according to Anne Henriksen, PharmD, the owner and pharmacist-in-charge, and a graduate of Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The pharmacy opened in the 1940s and has had several name changes under several owners, “from Johnson’s to Miller’s to Malley’s, which stuck through several owners,” Henriksen said.
“Customers come in and tell us stories of growing up and coming into Malley’s and buying candy. Some even had their first job at Malley’s,” Henriksen said.
After graduating from pharmacy school, she completed a residency and fellowship in geriatrics and geropsychiatry and thought she was set for a career in academia.
“I love academia and teaching, but honestly, my motivation for completing my training was not career driven, but personal growth. I had the opportunity to work with some of my mentors for 2 years and learn a subject I love,” Henriksen said.
She soon met her husband and moved back home.
“It seemed a natural fit, although I had some who told me I was throwing away my career,” Henriksen said.
For 2 years, Henriksen was the director of pharmacy at a Federally Qualified Health Center.
“This opportunity mixed my previously completed clinical training with some hands-on, real-life business management and team leadership. It was the perfect segue into pharmacy ownership, and it was during this time that I learned of a small independent for sale,” Henriksen said.
Fast-forward to the present, and Malley’s is a busy pharmacy with 2 primary departments: traditional dispensing and compounding.
In the traditional dispensing department, the staff members use technology to ensure safety, including an Eyecon and the RxSafe.
“The RxSafe stores original prescription bottles by serial number. When we are ready to fill a prescription, we scan a label and the RxSafe pulls the stock bottle for that prescription,” Henriksen said.
“We then double verify the stock bottle is cor- rect when we scan the national drug code on the Eyecon. The Eyecon is an infrared counting technology; it knows how many pills are necessary to fill the prescription and alerts us if we are over or under that number. It also stores an image of our completed count,” Henriksen said.
“I would not own a pharmacy without an Eyecon,” she said.
In the compounding laboratory, the staff members also use technology, including a MAZ and RAM mixers.
Henriksen and her employees are also known as experts on methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation.
“We provide a wide variety of supplements from many professional-grade lines,” she said. “We have extensive knowledge on not only the MTHFR genes, but also other genes along the MTHFR pathway that can affect methylation.”
Meanwhile, Malley’s tries to make patients feel welcome by carrying candy from a local candy company.
“We have this candy for sale but frequently throw a few pieces of candy in the bags of our customers or hand a piece or 2 to the child of a customer. Candy isn’t appropriate for every customer, but when we are able to, it sure makes their faces light up,” Henriksen said.
Henriksen appreciates the past but knows it is important to look to the future.
“Our long-standing history makes us unique, but we aren’t a store that’s stuck in the past. We are always looking for ways to practice pharmacy in 2022 and beyond on our terms and in ways we love,” Henriksen said.
“Just last week we had 2 customers at the registers. At one register, a customer was show- ing my staff pictures of a recent concert he had attended, a big concert of a big name in Vegas. The customer I was helping smiled and said to me, ‘I love that you have created a place where people connect, share, and know each other.’” Henriksen said.
Although it is cliché, she said Malley’s is really like a family.
“Especially in the past 18 months, we have grown closer as some have gone through personal struggles. We have faced countless changes,” Henriksen said.
“We laugh about how to succeed in pharmacy: You need a blend of a personality type that is rigid enough to strive for perfection and flexible enough to adapt to the never-ending changes [in] health care. When things get tough, you might see us doing a wiggle dance, saying ‘flexible people are happy people’ to get through our day,” Henriksen said.