Directly across the street from the Woodside Pharmacy is a Duane Reade, a big-box, modern-looking drug store. Naturally, the question is how is an independent drug store like The Woodside Pharmacy going to survive.
Simple, according to its new owners Shakti Soni and Prince Mistry, two men of Indian descent who between them speak six languages.
The pharmacy, located at 49-02 Queens Blvd., has two big advantages over the big-box stores. The first, it is located on the bottom floor of an office building that houses 10 doctors–of varying specialities ranging from cardiology to internal medicine. Many of the patients at the doctors’ offices go straight to the pharmacy after meeting with their doctor, Soni said.
The second, the pharmacy works with immigrants. It is able to explain to immigrants in their respective language what each drug does and what the potential side effects are. Also, the pharmacy delivers drugs, and for non-English speaking immigrants it will provide their customers with a written explanation (in their language) of how to take the drug and what it does.
The two men, who took ownership four months ago, are waiting to get Medicaid approval. In the interim, they are trying to forge ties with the Sunnyside Community Services Center to educate seniors. They are presently working with Indian Home, a similar type of community service.
They plan to hold education seminars for a range of different groups–from seniors to immigrants in the next few months.