Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 4
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

PERSONAL SERVICE: “We are located in the Princeton University Store, but we are a full-service, family-owned pharmacy open to the public,” says Donna Zagoreos, pharmacist at The Princeton Pharmacy. “I especially enjoy helping people, and we try to make our service personal. You will see the same pharmacist when you come in, and we get to know you.”

Located at the U-Store, The Princeton Pharmacy Is Independent, Family Owned Apothecary Shop

In an age of diminishing independently-owned stores and rapidly increasing chains, The Princeton Pharmacy, Princeton’s home town apothecary shop, is a reassuring presence.

“We are the only independently-owned pharmacy in Princeton,” says pharmacist Donna Zagoreos.

At one time, in the not so distant past, there were several independent pharmacies, as well as a variety of other independent establishments, but now, even in Princeton, they are quickly disappearing.

Located on the first floor of the Princeton University Store at 36 University Place, The Princeton Pharmacy opened in 1990, and has become a mainstay in town. Proprietor Steven Zagoreos also owns The McGrath Pharmacy in Lawrenceville and The Monument Pharmacy at the Henry J. Austin Center in Trenton.

These are true family businesses. Mr. Zagoreos’ son Bill is the pharmacist at McGrath, and daughter-in-law Donna Zagoreos is the pharmacist at The Princeton Pharmacy. A CCP (certified consultant pharmacist), Ms. Zagoreos is an expert in medicine interaction, as well as in long-term care, assisted living, and medications for the elderly.

More Aware

“Some people take many medicines,” she explains. “There are more products today, a plethora of medicines now. We keep track of everything clients take in order to prevent a bad interaction. Also, older people don’t process medicine the same way. Their livers and kidneys can change and function differently. It’s very important to be aware of what people are taking.”

Customers at the pharmacy include all ages, from children and their parents to University students to retired people. “I am encouraged that people are becoming more aware of what they are taking,” adds Ms. Zagoreos. “They ask questions of the doctors and the pharmacists. An informed patient is healthier.”

She adds that customers often ask for advice, typically regarding colds, allergies, sinus infections, indigestion, poison ivy, bee stings, and blisters.

“So far, the cold and flu season has not been too bad,” reports Ms. Zagoreos. “Sinus problems can be year-round, and they can be affected by allergies too. Neti Pot is a very popular remedy. It rinses the sinus cavity and helps relieve congestion. A lot of people swear by it.”

Indigestion products are also often requested, she notes. “Now, such products as Prevacid and Prilosec that used to be prescriptions are over-the-counter.

In the case of prescriptions, more antidepressant and anti-anxiety medicines are being seen. ln our high-tech age of pressure-cooking living, more people are taking advantage of such medicines, says Ms. Zagoreos. “I think more people are increasingly willing to seek help now for these kinds of problems.”

Maintenance Medicine

Children are also taking more medicine than in the past, she adds. Allergies are a problem, including asthma and also to specific food products, such as wheat, dairy, and peanuts. Conditions, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are seen more often, and medicines are prescribed to treat them.

The pharmacy is busy both with maintenance medicine, such as for high cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as those needed for flu, other illnesses, and injuries. In addition, there is a full selection of over-the-counter products, including vitamins, cold, and sinus remedies, etc.

One of the biggest changes Ms. Zagoreos has noticed in her 21 years as a pharmacist is insurance coverage. “It is very complicated now. A big change came with Medicare Part D — the prescription part. We have an insurance specialist at the pharmacy, and we try to keep up-to-date on all the changes.”

In addition to Ms. Zagoreos, The Princeton Pharmacy’s staff includes certified technician Colleen Goeke, who has worked for Mr. Zagoreos for 24 years, and personnel from the other locations as needed.

Warm Atmosphere

Customers of the pharmacy are attracted to the warm and friendly atmosphere, and appreciate the knowledgeable help of the staff. Many customers have had long, loyal relationships with the pharmacy.

“I really like The Princeton Pharmacy so much,” says a Princeton resident. “It’s like a neighborhood apothecary. Everyone is so friendly, and they know you. You know you can count on the staff, the medicines are safe, and the doses are accurate. Also, parking is easy, but if you can’t get there, they will deliver.”

Indeed, there is free delivery in Princeton on weekdays, and many special touches focus on personal service. As Ms. Zagoreos points out, “A real person answers the phone. Customers appreciate this. If we can’t answer a question right away, we will find out, and get back to you.

“Also, if we don’t have something here, we can access it at one of our other stores. We welcome special orders, and we have no problem calling doctors about refills, or transfers from other pharmacies. We offer very competitive pricing and very quick service — 10 or 15 minutes is a typical wait. After hours, there is a pharmacist on call for emergencies.

“We look forward to being here and available to the townspeople of Princeton and the students for a long time. And we always continue to upgrade our services.”

In what is often an impersonal society today, it is fortunate to know that The Princeton Pharmacy continues to offer up-to-date professional service, combined with old-fashioned, never out of style, compassionate care.

Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 11 to 2. (609) 924-4545.

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