PPM Pharmacy offers special niche

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PPM Pharmacy offers special niche

By Tim Farley

Home delivery is almost a distant memory, except for pizza, the U.S. mail and the daily newspaper. Gone are the days of the friendly milkman or the doctor who once made house calls.

That’s why Ryan Orton and PPM Pharmacy have created a niche in the healthcare world. They hand deliver prescriptions to a customer’s home, job or grandma’s house. It’s a personal touch that helps people who are busy and can’t get to the pharmacy or other folks who struggle with getting transportation.

Customers can drop off and pick up prescriptions at PPM, located at 5600 NW 56th, but generally Orton and his staff deals directly with physicians filling regular and compound prescriptions that are formulated onsite for special medical needs.

“Our niche is helping people who can’t get here to pick up their meds,” Orton said. “For example, there’s the single mom who works two jobs so we either deliver to her workplace or to grandma’s house. Or there’s the busy professional who needs his or her medicine delivered to the office.”

More than 90 percent of the prescriptions filled at PPM Pharmacy are delivered to the customers, Orton said.

Customers who use PPM’s delivery system the first time are often amazed that the meds were delivered on time as promised.

“The second time they’re thinking ‘this is a great service,’ and by the third time they want to know how they can get all their meds delivered to them,” Orton said. “We have to build trust to get people confident in our abilities to deliver what we say we we’ll do.”

The delivery service area is far ranging – from Norman to Guthrie and from El Reno to Shawnee. With three full-time drivers and an alternate, PPM saves its customers a lot of time.

“Our goal is to impact the market in a positive way so people who are maintenance drugs don’t have to stand in line at Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s for 20 minutes,” Orton said.

To make life even better for their customers, PPM’s delivery service is free.

Yet, roadblocks sometimes exist despite the reliable home delivery.

“People are reluctant to move away from the national pharmacy that’s on every street corner. Home delivery, as a whole, has gotten such a bad name people expect it to fail,” Orton said. “Really, word of mouth is best for us because friends of a customer hear their testimony about how reliable we are and then they want to try it. With that, we grow exponentially.”

Communication between pharmacy delivery personnel and customers is vital to PPM’s success.
“We give an approximate time and if we’re running late we call the customer,” Orton said. “We deliver a lot of stuff between 5 and 7 p.m. and we always verify who we are delivering to.”

But, Orton admits, there can be variables beyond the company’s control. So, when problems arise, he deals with them directly.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen with physicians, customers or even regulations and whether we have something in stock. If that happens, it can delay the process 24 hours but we always notify the customer and let them know what’s happening,” he said. “We’re always asking ourselves how do we make it better.”

Since opening PPM two years ago, Orton’s business volume has doubled.

“We’re seeing a steady growth every month,” he said.

Compounding and more

The pharmacy’s other distinction is its ability to manufacture compound drugs as directed by physicians.

“There’s usually a very specific need. It’s either not commercially available with the ingredients or strength they (patients) need. The physician will instruct us to build a medication from scratch using FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved ingredients,” Orton said.

The large volume of business keeps the company’s three full-time pharmacists and the rest of the staff, which includes four employees who work directly with hormone replacement therapy, busy at all times.

“That (hormone replacement therapy) is growing and has the biggest potential for us,” Orton said.

During the last 14 years, Orton also has owned Focus Home Medical that, like PPM, uses the home delivery method by bringing medical equipment to a customer’s home. Some of the equipment includes oxygen tanks, hospital beds and breathing machines.

“You’re always helping people in this business by providing them with products and services they really depend on,” he said.

For more information, visit www.myppmpharmacy.com

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