RIP Ron’s Apothecary Shoppe in Juneau

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The only independent compounding pharmacy in Juneau, and one of just a handful in the state, is closing its doors next week. Ron’s Apothecary Shoppe, which first opened its doors in Juneau in the 1970s, is going out of business as its owners retire.

Compounding pharmacies provide customized medications made on site to meet the needs of patients who have reactions to normal medication compounds. They have special ventilated labs and are licensed by the state to mix pharmaceuticals. Dosages for premature infants in neo-natal care units, for example, would fall into the compounding category. So might hormone therapies for people with certain complicating conditions.

The closest full-service compounding pharmacy for Juneau and surrounding residents is now Anchorage’s Bernie’s Pharmacy. This could pose a major problem or inconvenience for some patients around northern Southeast Alaska, where Juneau is the center of medical services.

The current clients at Ron’s Apothecary will be sent to the Safeway pharmacy in Juneau, and the employees at Ron’s have been offered jobs at that Safeway location. But it doesn’t mean Safeway can take over the custom medications for patients that have needs that can’t be met through mass-produced products.

The departure of Ron’s Apothecary leaves only Juneau Drug as the remaining independent pharmacy in Juneau. Located on the corner of Seward Street and Front Street, the pharmacy counter is now just a seasonal offering that is open during cruise season. It is not a compounding pharmacy.

The closure of yet another independently operated pharmacy is part of a nationwide trend. According to the Rural Policy Research Institute, the overall number of retail pharmacies declined in rural micropolitan areas (those towns with populations between 10,000 and 50,000) by 4.4%, while pharmacies increased in number in metropolitan areas by 15.1% between 2003 and 2021. Many of the pharmacies in rural areas are traditional stand-alone independents, but they are disappearing features of small-town America.

In Fairbanks, Alaska Family Pharmacy, and North Pole Alaska Family Pharmacy are compounding pharmacies. Soldotna has one as well, Soldotna Pharmacy. The only one in Anchorage is Bernie’s Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy that provides compounding services to the entire state. Some compounding pharmacies at Native medical centers are only available to Alaska Natives and Native Americans, which is a fraction of the general public.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Bernie’s does compounding for pet meds also. My dog had a medical condition requiring steroids by dropper. Bernie’s compounded with right dosage for the dropper and with yummy flavoring that dogs like.

  2. Hopefully SEARHC will be able to fill the void as they continue their expansion here in Juneau. They seem to be doing a good job with what they have done so far. We will deeply miss the folks at Ron’s and not just for their work and service.

  3. Pushing us closer and closer to being dependent on government-funded pharmacies that will probably be required to make sure that the toxic chemicals put in the jabs and insulin will be put in ALL prescriptions/meds. Well, any prescriptions/meds in government-funded pharmacies are probably already putting the toxins in all meds. Everyone better get stocked up on whatever meds you can because the coming days are going to be challenging!

  4. See why the state needs less employees dependent on a government paid check and more of those government paid employees should be a small business owner. If Alaska wasn’t so big on growing the work that adds government workers someone in Juneau will had been working under apprenticeship under this pharmacist dreaming one day they can buy and own his business providing the same service he provided. I don’t doubt there are government workers not living out their life calling in a field where they are owning a small business that contributes products and sales into the market while providing customize superior service.

  5. Ron’s was the only place in town where I could get good quality specialty items AND service to match.

    Nothing against Juneau Drugs, but Ron’s was better.

  6. This is a real loss…Ron’s was the only pharmacy we found that would fill prescriptions for Ivermectin. Our local pharmacist was too afraid of the Alaska Board of Pharmacy to do it. Too fearful of retaliation from a government board to fill valid prescriptions issued by a physician. They were willing to inject you with an experimental, emergency use only, never worked before mRNA jab that didn’t protect you from getting or transmitting the dreaded “only 99.9% survive it” Covid virus though. That should have woken everyone up to the government/big pharma monster but it didn’t. At least the mRNA losing streak remains unbroken…still hasn’t worked, well, to be more precise it hasn’t worked to actually save lives.

    • Well PJ there is one benefit to the “jab”…it does make some people feel better.
      There are thousands who swear by it and several on here that owe their lives to big pharma for saving them from certain death the horrible bat virus their govenment funded mad scientist Fauci created at Obamas request.
      Its not much different than a pill test where 100 participants get a pill but some only get a sugar pill but mysteriously they all “feel” better.
      Its kind of like going to a donut shop to reward your self with a fat pill after working out in the gym….You somehow “feel better”.

  7. As a pharmacist, it seems somehow sad that a shop closed its doors and there is no longer available the specialized service it provided. Another aspect of life has changed. Existence of another time, and place in the past has been cemented in the memory of those who participated in its existence.

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