Holland Discount Pharmacy: Keeping the neighborhood drug store alive in the modern age

Bilal Salim runs an independent pharmacy that tailors itself toward financial assistance for its customers with a personal touch unseen in larger venues.

Bilal Salim runs an independent pharmacy that tailors itself toward financial assistance for its customers with a personal touch unseen in larger venues.

By Chris Galford

It is the nature of the modern business world that going big is all too often the driving force. There are those who manage to remain independent in the face of industry standards, though, and even thrive in that independence. The Holland Discount Pharmacy, run by Bilal Salim, is one of those success stories, filling an oft-overlooked niche.

Big box stores are the norm in the pharmaceutical world. Think CVS. That’s where Bilal got his start for 18 years, but since then, he has struck out on his own.

“I think there’s a niche for small pharmacies — neighborhood drug stores — where you come in, the pharmacist knows you by name, knows what you take; whereas in the big box stores a lot of patients get lost in the shuffle, because there’s too many people walking in and out, and too many people working in the pharmacy, so you don’t see the same person every time. Here we know people very well by name, what they take,” said Bilal.

It’s a different show, to be sure. Corporate regulations guide big box stores, restrictions, guidelines, and all of these coincide to make a rigid environment — good for the company, but not always for the customer caught in the midst. According to Bilal, it can also cause inflexibility in pricing, which, is another advantage of an independent pharmacy like his.

Affordability is a key word here. Many are the solutions people can point to in the world as effective and efficient, but that doesn’t make them necessarily affordable. Health care is far from free, as well as prescriptions. However, what people don’t see with the big stores, said Bilal, is that this doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t options.

“We’ve explored avenues with drug companies to process help in the form of coupons … Big box stores really don’t have that much time to invest,” Bilal said.

The Holland Discount Pharmacy also provides free delivery, synced refills (to cut down on actual trips to the pharmacy), and is a preferred provider for many Medicare plans.

Show your support for local businesses! Visit Holland Discount Pharmacy at 909 S. McCord Rd., Holland, Ohio.