Published May 29, 2014
By Patrick Lacombe, Journal reporter
Toby Young and his wife Harriet Monsell, celebrated 30 years of service to the Belton community with a ribbon cutting ceremony at their pharmacy last week. Representatives of the Belton Chamber of Commerce were in attendance along with customers and friends and family.
After the ceremony, which was held last Friday, cake and refreshments were served inside the pharmacy located at 502 East Central Ave. in Belton and the couple answered questions about their experiences over the years. “We are proud to have been a part of the Belton area and we know every one of our customers and their needs” said Toby Young. “We care about our customers and we see them more often than their doctors do, so we are able to tell by talking and asking questions, whether a certain medicine is working for them.” he went on to say.
Since the closing of Britt Pharmacy, The Medicine Shoppe is the only drug store in Belton that practices the art of “pharmaceutical compounding.” Pharmaceutical compounding is the creation of a particular pharmaceutical product to fit the unique need of a patient. To do this, compounding pharmacists combine or process appropriate ingredients using various tools. This may be done for medically necessary reasons, such as to change the form of the medication from a solid pill to a liquid, to avoid a non-essential ingredient that the patient is allergic to, or to obtain the exact dose(s) needed or deemed best of particular active pharmaceutical ingredient(s). It may also be done for more optional reasons, such as adding flavors to a medication or otherwise altering taste or texture.
When asked what has been the best and worst times they have experienced in their 30 years in business, Harriet Monsell, also a registered pharmacist, said, “The best was when Toby won the Bowl of Hygeia Award in 2001. The Bowl of Hygeia Award is an award given by Wyeth to recognize pharmacists who have provided outstanding community service. The worst of times was the flood of 2010. We had no warning whatsoever and we had over 20 inches of water in the store. We moved a trailer in 5 days later and started filling prescriptions again that day. It took 9 months to renovate the building and as soon as it was done, we moved back in.”
The Medicine Shoppe was also the first pharmacy in the area to work with patients who had contracted the deadly HIV/AIDS Virus which was first clinically observed in the U.S. in 1981. “No one knew much about it back then and it carried such a stigma and patients were treated as Lepers because at first if you had it, you died.” Toby explained. “AIDS patients were having trouble finding places that would fill their medications because people did not know exactly how it was transmitted and were afraid to deal with it. I learned about the disease and worked with the patients to help them get their medications, so they could have a chance to live and keep working.”