Three brothers who grew up running the mini-golf behind Angie’s Restaurant in Logan are back in business together.
In the years since running the family mini-golf business as teens, Robert and Brigham Cook have both become pharmacists. A third brother, David, is an accountant for the newly opened Cook Brothers Pharmacy in Providence.
“We have always wanted to run a business together,” Robert said. “It’s kind of been our dream.”
Robert originally went to school for accounting, but he worked as a pharmacy technician to help pay his way at Snow College. When Brigham, five years younger, moved to the area for undergraduate studies, Robert helped get him a job at the same place.
“When we were technicians down at Snow College, we worked for how many years together? Two?” Brigham said. “That was another thing that cemented our minds on the idea of working together in a business, because it was really fun. We have kind of the same sense of humor and enjoy working together and joking around.”
After years of kicking the idea around, strategizing locations and then going through the wringer of building a new business during the ongoing construction labor shortage, Cook Brothers Pharmacy opened in June.
Brigham worked with a designer to ensure the new pharmacy met their style and needs.
“We wanted it to have a modern take on an old-style apothecary,” Brigham said. “We wanted it to be centered on us interacting with people so we kind of put the pharmacist station here, kind of centered, so that anyone that comes in can just come up and ask questions and feel like we’re not hidden or unavailable.”
Features of the design that might not have been included if they’d built even just a few years ago are additional space for their compounding lab to ensure they meet new regulations, as well as a counseling room where they can administer shots or meet with people from medication therapy management.
Medication therapy management is a growing trend of pharmacists taking more time to review prescriptions with patients and provide more follow-up to help make sure that people are taking medicine as prescribed. Researchers estimate that about half of patients don’t take medication for chronic conditions exactly as prescribed, and up to 30% of prescriptions aren’t picked up at all in the U.S. That nonadherence likely costs the nation’s health care system hundreds of billions of dollars annually, according to a 2012 review in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The review found, however, that education can be an effective tool to help patients take their medicine.
As part of medication therapy management, the Cook Bros. pharmacists “set up a time with the patient and we sit down with the patient for 30 to 40 minutes and actually review all of the medications they’re taking and discuss potential side effects and problems, interactions and those types of things,” Robert said.
Pharmacists are required to ask people if they have any questions about their prescriptions, Robert said, but if people are doing errands in a rush or if there’s a long line at the counter, they’re likely to say they don’t have questions even if they do. Scheduled meetings, while prompted increasingly often by insurance companies, have been a good way to discover and discuss those deeper concerns.
In addition to those services, Cook Bros. also offers over-the-counter products. The pharmacy’s wellness coordinator, Jentry Beazer, oversees the shop’s natural supplements and remedies.
While the supplements she stocks at Cook Bros. are higher-end, many of them are pharmacy-exclusive brands that undergo third-party testing to ensure that what’s in the bottle matches what’s on the label, which has been a concern for some because dietary supplements are regulated as food, not medication, by the FDA.
Third-party testing is “pretty important, just because you don’t want fillers, you don’t want things in your vitamins that aren’t helping you out,” Beazer said. “A lot of people nowadays have milk allergies, gluten allergies, and a lot of people have intestinal microbiome things going on. It’s good to know you’re getting a quality ingredient that doesn’t affect that, that’s gluten-free or lactose-free.”
It’s important that Cook Brothers offers products from manufacturers willing to stand behind the quality and content of their supplements, Beazer said.
“We love people and we are more than willing to sit with people and give them the education and the things that they need to feel OK with the medications they’re on or the supplements they’re on,” Beazer said, “kind of that peace of mind that we care enough to really go deep enough to see what’s going to help you.”
Cook Brothers Pharmacy is located at 435 N. Gateway Drive in Providence. For more info, call (435)752-2665 or visit fb.com/cookbrotherspharmacy.