James Nick Hernandez, PharmD ’19
PCOM Heroes of the Front Line
Independent Pharmacist, Birmingham, Michigan
“I work at an independent compounding pharmacy a little bit west of downtown Detroit.
It’s nice to be able to say about a medication, ‘If that’s not working, let’s try
to tailor it to you.’ … In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first week
after the quarantine was put into effect, work was chaotic; we were just slammed.
People were worried about whether there would be drug shortages, whether they’d be
able to access their medications. My boss, the owner, told us, ‘We have to change
some things, because everything around us is changing.’ … We started offering curbside
service and a lot more delivery, same-day delivery service—the owner has five kids.
… We’re also pretty busy providing masks, regular surgical masks. We started making
our own hand sanitizer at one point just to try to get it to our patients, to doctors’
offices. Because we’re a compounding pharmacy, we were able to do that. … Earlier
today we spent about an hour and a half moving 14,000 pounds of hand sanitizer. It
came on a semi truck, and we had to borrow two forklift pallet jacks to put it in
one of our storage container sheds. … So COVID has meant that we’ve had to adapt on
a daily basis. But mostly it’s about being here for the patients, providing whatever
we can. We get a lot of questions: What should I be doing? What should I be taking?
Are there certain vitamins or supplements? … A lot of our patients have been coming
here for years. We know most of them on a first-name basis. In times like this, we
just try to provide the best care we can. We never want to have to tell them they
cannot get medication due to shortages of any sort.”
As told to Janice Fisher
April 21, 2020
About Digest Magazine
Digest, the magazine for alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine,
is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The magazine reports on
osteopathic and other professional trends of interest to alumni of the College’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and graduate programs at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.