OP pharmacy owners says prices beat big box stores
By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(May 4, 2023) Coastal Drugs, a family-run business in Ocean Pines, has moved from its old location in Manklin Station to a new stand-alone building at 11005 Manklin Creek Road, right across from the South Pond.
The husband-and-wife team, Ray and Arti Patel, have been in business in Ocean Pines for seven years. They purchased the building after their previous lease expired, because of the better visibility from Ocean Parkway and more parking.
“We are investing back into the community,” Ray Patel said.
They renovated the building and are in the process of landscaping before their grand opening.
“The customers like the new location. It’s bright, lots of parking and we will have pick-up lanes so we can bring purchases out to your car,” Ray Patel said.
“We’ve dedicated our store to safety, and durable medical equipment, reclining chairs people can try out, and DME walkers. We have a little bit of a showroom here. We kept it simple, but at the same time, focused on what the community is looking for.”
Instead of buying these products online, customers can come into the pharmacy and try the products out.
“We can assemble items for them. They don’t have to worry about anything.”
The pharmacy will deliver to Snow Hill, Ocean Pines, Ocean City and Berlin.
“If the consumer cannot come to us, we cater to their needs. There is nothing we won’t do for the convenience of our patients,” he said.
“We have grown by word of mouth through the community. Friends and family are key to our growth.”
They have stiff competition from Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Tidal Health and AGH.
“Even with all this competition, we are thriving,” he said.
“We are thankful that we have great customers and people who support small businesses. That is how we, as the Coastal Drug family, keep growing.”
Patel’s business philosophy is knowing his patients, caring for them and their health, and providing them with great service and good prices.
“For people without insurance, we give them the best possible price that a pharmacy can. Better than the big box stores like Walmart, Walgreens, and even better pricing than GoodRx.”
“We can save you money. We do have better prices than the big box stores. Not just on medication, but over-the-counter, durable medical equipment and incontinence supplies as well.”
If a customer is struggling to afford a medication, Patel is willing to work with them.
“We care. Even if I am going to break even or not make too much money.
“Our formula is taking care of our customers, who have become part of our Coastal Drug family.”
“At the end of the day, your health is your wealth. We want to know them, not just from a business perspective, but personal life as well.”
Patel encourages people to bring their list of medications and their price points to them.
“Come in and have a consultation with our owner/pharmacists,” Patel said.
His wife, Arti, is the store pharmacist.
Once we have a dialogue with the patient, we can get them that drug for cheaper. We want to help the patient and grow our business.
“We are blessed that the patients and the community of Ocean Pines and this county are supporting us.”