Bringing prescriptions closer to home

Elkford Drug Store opens after decades with no local pharmacy.

Elkford recently welcomed Elkford Drug Store with open arms.

Opening on April 22, patients are pleased to have access to owner and pharmacy manager Ahmed Elmaddah’s services.

“Part of the healthcare system is to have a doctor, a pharmacy and a nurse. [In Elkford] this link was not complete,” Elmaddah said. “A pharmacist has a role in explaining drugs and medications. This kind of input is important for patients in any community.”

After a friend recommended Elkford as a small community in need of a pharmacy, Elmaddah packed his bags and moved across the country from Hamilton, ON.

With a total of 13 years of pharmacy experience, including previously working as pharmacy manager, a pharmacist and a relief pharmacist, Elmaddah enjoys being in a small community.

“I know how things are in small communities and I like it,” he said, noting that he previously worked in the small community of Port Hardy, B.C. “ I like small communities where it’s easy to do activities like hiking.”

With acres upon acres of backcountry, Elmaddah is in luck when it comes to finding places to hike in Elkford.

As for why he wanted to open his own pharmacy, Elmaddah explained, “I just wanted to open my own place and implement my own policies.”

Currently the pharmacy only has two employees, Elmaddah and his assistant Angela Gostick.

Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Elkford Drug Store provides patients and customers with over-the-counter medications, vitamins, first aid supplies, dental products and prescription medications.

In addition, locals have access to counseling and medication reviews, which entails having the pharmacist go through all the patients medications and advising them on when and how to take them.

In terms of future plans for the pharmacy, Elmaddah said, “I’m planning to expand more with the front store stuff and getting more products to provide customers with a better selection.”

Elmaddah said he also plans to get his diabetes certification, which would allow him to effectively counsel diabetic patients.

But for now, the new pharmacist is still getting settled in the Elkford area.

With the store directly off Highway 43, it is visible and easily accessible to customers.

For more information on the Elkford Drug Store, call Elmaddah at 778-521-5181 or stop into 4 Front St., Suite B, Box 370.