Personal touch part of Athol’s new pharmacy’s prescription

  • Nationally certified pharmacy technician Devone Fox works at Athol Pharmacy, which opened at 290 Main St. on May 30. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

  • Chris Mulqueen, pharmacist and manager at Athol Pharmacy, sorts a precription. The drug store opened at 290 Main St. on May 30. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

  • State registered pharmacy technician Elizabeth Hager works at Athol Pharmacy. The pharmacy opened on May. 30. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

  • Athol Pharmacy opened at 290 Main St. on May 30. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

  • Athol Pharmacy opened at 290 Main St. on May 30. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

Recorder Staff
Thursday, June 22, 2017

ATHOL — A central Massachusetts pharmacist and his business partner figured a new independent drugstore in the North Quabbin area was just what the doctor ordered.

Athol Pharmacy opened at 290 Main St. in Athol on May 30, the third in a chain of pharmacies owned by Shaun Thompson, who lives north of Boston, and pharmacist Steve MacNeill. The two hired pharmacist Chris Mulqueen to manage the Athol location. The other two pharmacies are in the Boston area.

“They were just aware that the Athol community was in need of something like this,” Mulqueen said recently, mentioning how an independent pharmacy across the street closed down in September 2016. “We were aware that they did good business there so this pharmacy opened up and we hired back the majority of their staff. We hired back one pharmacist and three technicians that used to work there.”

Mulqueen, who previously worked as a pharmacist for the Price Chopper supermarket chain, said Athol Pharmacy offers free delivery of medication to the North Quabbin region. Automated refills, text-message reminders and monthly billing are also available.

Mulqueen said the pharmacy also offers medication packaging services, which consolidate a patient’s medications so they can all be delivered at once. The pharmacy can also offer competency training twice a year to health care providers who administer medications.

Mulqueen said the community has already responded well to the new pharmacy.

“Business has been great and the reception has been very positive. A lot of people are happy to see us here. We’ve had a lot of customers coming in from town and everyone has a smile on their face and has been excited to transfer to us,” he said. “We try to provide a more personal pharmacy experience than some of the other pharmacies, so people appreciate that — the small-town feel.”

The pharmacy also sells the non-medical goods — such as shampoo, deodorant, hydrogen peroxide and cough drops — similar to other drugstores. There is also a “value section” in which every item is $2 or less.

Athol Town Manager Shaun A. Suhoski said the new pharmacy will add to the rejuvenation of the local economy.

“While much deserved attention has been paid to the pace of development at North Quabbin Commons, it is nice to see a downtown building renovated and repurposed to provide these services in the heart of the community,” he said. “I’m sure the pharmacy will be well-received.”

The pharmacy’s hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. The phone number is 978-830-0427.

You can reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 258. On Twitter: @DomenicPoli