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New pharmacy set to open next to Commissary Sept. 7

Senior Airman Diana Vargas, 460th Medical Group, prepares for the opening of the new pharmacy located next to the Commissary Aug. 16. The pharmacy will open Sept. 7 and features two drive-through windows for prescription refills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Larry Boyce)

Senior Airman Diana Vargas, 460th Medical Group, prepares for the opening of the new pharmacy located next to the Commissary Aug. 16. The pharmacy will open Sept. 7 and features two drive-through windows for prescription refills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Larry Boyce)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Getting to the pharmacy will be a whole lot easier Sept. 7 because the new facility opens its doors, and two drive-through lanes right next door to the Commissary.

Maj. Todd Tomlin and Master Sgt. Larry Boyce, 460th Medical Group Pharmacy, are in the militarily-unique position to have seen the $4 million project from design to completion and they're excited for the base community.

"Most people come to the base after they drop their prescriptions off, so now they have the added convenience where we're right next door to the commissary and the Base Exchange and they can do all their shopping while they're waiting on their prescriptions," said Sergeant Boyce.

Major Tomlin said some customers had a hard time finding the pharmacy in its current location. He and his staff expect a 20 to 30 percent increase in volume with the new location. He said a window inside will be designated for customers who have questions about or issues with their prescription(s). He also said customers need to know they won't be able to use the drive-through lane for new prescriptions.

"The drive-through is going to be the big change that they're going to notice," said Major Tomlin. "It will be for call-in refill pickup only. Those that went over to Norfolk Street didn't have that capability. Everybody walked inside. This will help reduce a lot of that foot traffic."

Major Tomlin said customer convenience doesn't stop at location. He said the facility will have a new display board so customers inside the new pharmacy don't have to wonder or stand in line to know when their script is filled.

In addition to the display board, the pharmacy has upgraded its machine that reads bar codes and fills prescriptions with a robotic arm. The system will account for 50 to 60 percent of the prescriptions filled on base.

"It's not a true robot," said Major Tomlin. "It's the machine that we have right now with the cabinets, the cassettes, everything is bar coded and it covers that with an arm so it's typed in and someone doesn't have to manually go up and push for that medication to come out in the vial. It actually does it for them."

The pharmacy hours of operation will remain the same. The Buckley Pharmacy will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday except for down days and holidays. The pharmacy will also be closed for half the day one time each month for training purposes.
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