Edmonton-based iPharmacy Offers Everything from Botox to Your Next COVID shot!
With Alberta opening back up it’s even more important now than ever that we do what we can to support local businesses, because they were clearly hit the hardest during this ongoing pandemic. That’s why I am taking a personal pledge to do my best to spend my money on local as much as possible this summer. That includes local restaurants, breweries, shops, and just about anything else you can think of…even pharmacies!
In fact, I will be getting my second COVID vaccination shot this summer at a growing pharmacy chain that has been serving Edmontonians for nearly 12 years now, since 2009. The first iPharmacy opened its doors that October in the Mill Woods neighbourhood (5708-19A Avenue/ 780-757-3000), but it was soon joined by additional branches in Downtown (10107-107 Avenue/ 780-758-3000), Chinatown (9662-107A Avenue/ 780-756-4000), and Spruce Grove (Highway 16A & Callaho Road/ 780-571-3000).
I recently connected with iPharmacy owner Ahmed Metwally, who moved to Canada from Egypt in 2006 and planted his roots in the Edmonton area. Metwally obtained his pharmacy degree nearly 25 years ago and has since trained in geriatric pharmacy and obtained an MBA from the University of Alberta, while also serving as a Council Member of the Alberta College of Pharmacy from 2010-13.
I asked him a few questions about this local enterprise, which is still growing and is even getting ready for the grand opening of a fifth location, in the Boyle McCauley community (96 Street & 107 Avenue). If you are looking for a new pharmacy for your prescriptions, procedures (botox, fillers, etc.), or your next vaccination shot, consider supporting local and hitting up one of the four iPharmacy branches. And now, onto the questions…
I♥E/ What kind of services does iPharmacy offer?
Ahmed Metwally/ We offer a wide range of services. The majority of our pharmacists are initial prescribing authorities as part of our staff, which means patients can obtain new prescriptions with us. Two of our four main pharmacists have PharmD – Doctor of Pharmacy –, and one is a Ph.D. This is just to stand out the high level of professionalism in iPharmacy. We also offer medication refills and reviews for patients who need consultation.
Located in different parts of the city, our pharmacist have learned how to serve each community, for example, in the inner city the services focus on Opioid-Dependent Therapy (ODT) whereas in Mill Woods our pharmacist manager specializes in dermatology and virtual pharmacy care for seniors who can’t visit the branch for health or mobility reasons.
Two of our branches (Chinatown and Highway 16 in Spruce Grove) have compounding services – preparation of a custom formulation of a medication to fit a unique need of a patient which cannot be met with commercially available products –, this means we have the capacity to “cook” in our labs personalized medications, ointments, suppositories, hormone replacement therapy, among others possibilities. In the dermatology/beauty department, Mill Woods and Spruce Grove count with Botox injection, fillers, and micro needling services.
In addition, we have a variety of vitamins, in-store items, mobility devices for seniors, we provide free delivery, and after hours services. We even offer free mailbox rental for three years in all our stores, after hours services (24/7), and Amazon Lockers so people won’t worry any more about what will happen with their packages.
I can keep adding and adding on the things we do, but, as you can see, we cover a lot of bases, adapt to different community needs, and we’re always thinking on how to improve our customer’s experience.
I♥E/ What sets iPharmacy apart from other pharmacies?
AM/ We believe we have a niche in our environment: we are tech savvy thus we catch up with technological trends in the healthcare system. We implemented Calendly and Kroll booking systems and use virtual care programs to see patients online to provide better care if the patient cannot accommodate an in-person visit. When the pandemic started, we served a big amount of customers, we gave more than 10’000 masks for free and donated 180 lt. of hand sanitizer. In the vaccination arena, we have the two major vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) available, we used to have AstraZeneca until AHS stopped the distribution.
On the administrative side, I hold a MBA, am responsible for the leadership training of the entire iPharmacy team and I have served in the council of Alberta College of Pharmacy. However, what 's most important to us is creating a family environment within the staff that translates into better customer service and better care: we care for our patients as if they were our relatives: parents, sisters, and brothers, we consider them as part of our family.
I♥E/ Are there any current or upcoming deals/specials/promotions you’d like to highlight?
AM/ At Spruce Grove we have a “Micro Needling Club”, an annual membership that gives you a monthly micro needling session, this monthly session is transferable, which means you, your friends or your family can use it. With the Micro Needling Club you get 65% off of the regular price since each micro needling session is $275 whereas the yearly payment for the membership is $1’500 a year. For Botox we manage the flat rate of $8 per unit. Of course, I already talked about the free mailbox rental for 3 years and for new customers, we have a 10% discount on in-store items if they probe they are following us on our social media (FB Millwoods, FB CT, FB DT, FB HW16, Instagram, and Twitter).