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Startup pounds it

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  • | 11:00 a.m. August 4, 2017
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Jillian Dano was a young teen in Watertown, N.Y., when an interaction with an independent pharmacist sparked her career dream. She fast-tracked through pharmacy school and found work as a pharmacist in St. Petersburg.

But Dano always felt an entrepreneurial calling.

So after investing hundreds of hours in planning and store build-out, and with help from silent partners, in June Dano opened her own independent compounding pharmacy, Sarasota Apothecary. As a compounding pharmacist, Dano is qualified to fill prescriptions for both humans and animals. For people, she specializes in bio-identical hormones and custom medications, such as those free of dyes, preservatives and sugar. For veterinary uses, she can provide gel formulations applied behind the ear, and other options.

Compounding pharmacies are a growing niche. A recent report from IBISWorld anticipates that compounding pharmacies will benefit from an aging population and drug shortages.

But getting underway on her business, Dano discovered, wasn't easy.

“It's such a process just to get your own business started,” Dano tells Coffee Talk. “Especially with it being a pharmacy, we have to go through government organizations and state organizations, and they all want slightly different things. It took longer than what we had anticipated.”

Now that the doors are open, Dano handles everything from filling prescriptions to consulting with patients to paperwork and marketing. Her biggest challenge is getting the word out to patients and providers that she's here and open. She's launched an advertising campaign, offering incentives such as free delivery, free glucose meters and free generic medications, such as Metformin, just to introduce customers to their services.

Sarasota Apothecary is at 8620 S. Tamiami Trail, at the rear of a small shopping plaza. It's across an intersection from a CVS — ironically the national chain where Dano once worked.


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