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Kent Apothecary

KENT — Peter D’Aprile is not the average pharmacy owner. He is a registered pharmacist who also earned an MBA. His professional health and business school backgrounds work together to take the Kent pharmacy scene in new directions.D’Aprile purchased the Kent Apothecary in November 2008. In 2009 he purchased Custom Compounding, a specialty pharmacy located in the same building, but operated as a separate business. Custom compounding allows the pharmacist to make “drugs that are not commercially available, using raw ingredients,” D’Aprile explained. “We also have the ability to make medicines in different dosages than commonly available. “And we prepare different forms. For example we can take almost any raw ingredient and prepare it as a solution, suppository, cream, capsule, et cetera.”A large part of Custom Compounding’s business, he said, “is biomedical hormone replacement therapy, known as BHRT. We prepare medicine for animals for veterinary patients including cats, dogs, birds, geese and rabbits.”Custom Compounding also makes capsules without inactive ingredients for patients with allergies. They have “veggie caps,” which are made without any animal products for patients with personal preferences or allergies. They can also take a traditional product and flavor it.D’Aprile said there are very few compounding pharmacies in the state. Custom Compounding belongs to a national trade organization located in Texas, Professional Compounding Centers of America. With little competition this unique pharmacy has clients all over Connecticut as well as in Massachusetts and New York.The Apothecary has evolved since D’Aprile purchased it in 2008. “We’ve added a lot of merchandise to the front of the store,” he said. “There are a lot of different lines, a variety of new merchandise.“It’s a place people can go. We have the everyday stuff, the over-the-counter medications, unique gifts. We have some greeting cards you won’t find anywhere else. We have locally made things, like tote bags custom painted by a Kent couple. We have postcards from local photographers. We try to offer as many local products as possible.” Most important, though, is having the pharmacist there all the time, getting to know the customers and responding quickly to their needs.“We’ve raised the level of customer service,” he said.The pharmacist brought up something he is passionate about. “Most consumers do not realize the price they pay for prescriptions is the same at their local pharmacy as at a large chain store. Their co-pays are exactly the same. We also offer a $5 per month generic prescription program like many of the chains.”Kent Apothecary is affiliated with Health Mart, which helps this friendly small-town shop to compete with the large chain stores, not only in prices for prescriptions but also for over-the-counter medications. Health Mart is “a very loose franchise model with almost 3,000 independent pharmacy members,” D’Aprile explained. D’Aprile is looking ahead to the future. He opened a new pharmacy, The English Apothecary in Bethel, Conn., last month.The Kent Apothecary is located on the northeast corner of routes 7 and 341. The phone number is 860-927-3725.

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