Skaff’s Corner Pharmacy
1112 St. George’s Ave
Shaped by the Community They Serve
Anchoring downtown since the 1950’s, Skaff’s Pharmacy had served local residents for over 70 years. When Neha Patel heard that the owner was planning to retire and sell the business in 2012, she and a partner jumped at the chance to run her own pharmacy. She grew up in a family of business owners in India so she knew the joy and pitfalls of being an owner operator. They soon moved to their present location at 1112 St. Georges Avenue and work hard to maintain the trusted place in Rahway’s history that Skaff’s was known for.
Motivated to study pharmacology from an early personal experience, she immigrated to America to go to school. Neha earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2011, from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. She started her professional career soon after, working in a corporate environment but the experience was not a positive one. The demand to upsell and job performance measured by how many scripts were filled by time, conflicted with the high standard of service she preferred to provide to her customers. Neha strives to maintain a personal connection with customers only possible in an independently run pharmacy.
Getting to know the needs of their patrons is a big part of how they compete with the big box pharmacies along St Georges Avenue. As relationships grow, they’ll become familiar with an individual’s history and will follow up if a conflict in treatment is noticed. The professional staff made up of three pharmacists, five pharmacy technicians and a delivery driver, all take the time to become an integral part of the treatment team, flagging a potentially dangerous drug combination, or if a new physician prescribes a medication that conflicts with a current treatment plan. They carry a full range of medical equipment for home care including surgical supplies, but also have trained staff to provide critical information to caregivers and families to help improve the quality of life for those undergoing recovery at home.
It isn’t unusual for the general public to make an assumption that an independent pharmacy might be more expensive than a national chain. but Neha emphasized that that is not necessarily true. They have the independence to make decisions based on regional, or customer needs, and aren’t beholden to a cookie cutter business model. One of their greatest challenges is staying on top of the many changes that occur in the insurance industry, and the regulations and rules set by outside agents that they must comply with. For example, some medications are blocked from distribution by independents and a consumer’s only option is to order through the insurance companies mail order plans. Though convenient, the specialized knowledge a pharmacist can share, can be lost.
The City of Rahway recognizes and supports how small businesses contribute to the quality of life in the greater community.
Be sure to visit Skaff’s Pharmacy for all your personal care needs.