In the old days, pharmacies were often owned by the pharmacist who sold and compounded medications, provided health care tips and recommended medical treatments and medicines. Neighbors gathered at the friendly neighborhood pharmacy or the corner drug store that also delivered to the neighborhood. The local pharmacist was a friend and a neighbor.
Mo Amer and Kristi Lamoncha of Estero want to bring back that ole-time pharmacy but with modern twists. Co-owners and pharmacists at PharmacyGO, they opened their independent, compounding pharmacy in November 2019, located at the corner of Tamiami Trail and Estero Parkway across from Walmart. Customers are expressing nostalgia at this modern take on the “corner drugstore.
“PharmacyGO is amazing,” says customer James Fellows.“It was almost like I was with family members. Kristi met me at the door, greeted me by name and explained my prescriptions. The experience reminded me of the old local pharmacies.”
Entering PharmacyGO is more like stepping into a spa lobby than a bustling chain pharmacy. Pleasant music, the aroma of fresh coffee, comfortable seating and an unassuming reception desk straight ahead where the pharmacist personally greets customers is enough to calm anyone with a prescription in hand. No overwhelming racks of medicinal, cosmetic and grocery items – instead, a few shelf displays of typical first aid and health products, one shelf deep, to peruse during the short wait.
“The welcoming and comfortable atmosphere made me wonder if I was at the right place!” Fellows marveled.
For Carol Dalia, convenience and efficiency were important. She had been traveling to Fort Myers for compounded hormonal pills, creams and shots, occasionally waiting two days.
“Not only did PharmacyGO have them ready in one day, they also delivered,” said Dalia. “When I was leaving town, Kristi opened early so I had my medicines to take with me. They are awesome.”
PharmacyGO also compounds pet prescriptions.
“Their whole system is efficient, cost effective and convenient,” says Cari Jones,a single mom and caretaker of her elderly parents who says PharmacyGO has taken the stress out of getting pet meds by offering delivery. “I was always up to the last minute waiting for my vet to open. Now, I receive a text when the refill is ready, and I don’t have to drive in traffic.”
Amer and Lamoncha both received their doctorate degrees in pharmacy from Lake Erie College of Medicine, Lake Erie, Pa. When Lamoncha accepted a position in Naples, she didn’t know Amer was already working in the area. One day, a transferred prescription came to her pharmacy from an independent pharmacy in Cape Coral with the pharmacist’s name on it: Mo Amer.
“I was surprised to see it,” recalls Lamoncha. “We were both in Southwest Florida, and Amer already had his own business in mind. And he wanted a partner.”
The partnership developed from their shared frustration with chain pharmacies and the low service level for which customers had settled over the years. Before opening PharmacyGO, Lamoncha returned to Ohio and gained experience in a family-owned, independent and compounding pharmacy. In time, and with the support of both their spouses, PharmacyGO opened.
“Customers are like family members,” says Amer.
PharmacyGO offers three pharmacy memberships. Even at the basic level, the service is far beyond what most people would expect from a pharmacy: “The regular PharmacyGO experience offers two pharmacists, one of each gender with whom to consult, compounding, organic and filler-free emphasis and delivery within two days. All major insurance plans are accepted with special consideration for those without insurance. Prescriptions are often filled within a few minutes.”
Two higher levels have small monthly fees and add discounts, no-cost supplements and diabetic care items, among other perks. The concierge level adds house calls by the pharmacist to assist with medicine management monthly.
“Our goal is to continue hearing what the community needs from their neighborhood pharmacists and make adjustments to meet those needs,” says Amer.
The same philosophy applies to over-the-counter items and CBD products. Providing durable medical equipment is in the plans. The pharmacists are licensed to provide immunizations as well.
Pharmacies originally provided medications to relieve general aches and pains to help treat different health and medical conditions, primarily via compounding — when a given drug product is made or modified to have characteristics that are specifically prescribed for an individual patient. PharmacyGO provides these services.
Amer says PharmacyGO has low overhead as a family-owned business, with the pharmacists’ talented spouses, Nadean Amer and Brandon Lamoncha, providing marketing and financial consulting. Maximum buying power results from a collaboration of 22,000 independent pharmacies, allowing them to match and often beat co-pay or medicine costs compared to chain pharmacies. Even if an insurance card prefers a chain pharmacy, the customer can purchase wherever he or she wishes and will receive the same financial benefits with added personal care at PharmacyGO, says Amer.
“We specialize in filler-free and organic products and use U.S. manufacturers wherever possible for quality medications,” he adds.
Modern technology adds efficiency; customers communicate with pharmacists directly by text. Curbside service is always available with delivery within 15 miles.
When he can grab a spare minute, Amer likes to join his tennis pro wife on the court. Lamoncha enjoyed playing beach volleyball in college, and she continues to play on the beaches of Southwest Florida.
For hours and information, visit www.epharmacygo.com or call (239) 908-3187.