Health Care

Accudose Pharmacy Aims to Demystify Medications

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BOARDMAN, Ohio – Here’s a dose of scary medicine. Among individuals who take medications, half or fewer take them correctly, reports pharmacist Mark Franceschelli. That statistic includes people of all ages.

“It becomes so easy to get confused,” he said.

Tying to stem that confusion – and blunt the potentially harmful effect of improperly taking medication – was the driving force behind Franceschelli and pharmacist Mario Petrino creating their new business, Accudose Pharmacy.

Accudose began operating about a month ago. The pharmacy’s owners and staff hosted a ribbon cutting Wednesday presented by the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

Franceschelli, who has operated a pharmacy consulting business for seven years and previously worked for Target, would see patients get discharged from a nursing home or hospital. “They would go home and they’re on so many medications that they don’t know how to take them the right way,” he said.

Further, most people over age 65 take on average 11 medications, Petrino added. “It becomes cumbersome after a while,” particularly with early dementia patients.

“We wanted to be able to help improve the safety of patients taking their medications and make it easier for them,” Franceschelli said. “It actually prevents re-hospitalizations as well.”

The company uses a compliance packaging machine that sorts clients’ medications into sealed, easy-open packets with the names of the medications as well as the dates and times they should be taken. The unit can dispense 480 different drugs.

“Instead of a person having five [pill] bottles, they just rip the packet off” and take the medication at the designated time, Petrino said. “It’s a neat concept.”

The pharmacy accepts all insurance plans, the owners said. In addition, it offers free same-day delivery. The business uses Mahoning Valley Delivery Service for deliveries, which Petrino – who previously worked for the Rite Aid chain — uses at another Boardman pharmacy he operates, MD Compounding Pharmacy.

Most importantly, staff follow up with patients. “After the order’s in, they speak with the pharmacist, and that’s one of the most important things,” Franceschelli said. “When patients actually speak with a pharmacist, it decreases the risk of an adverse drug event by almost 70%.”

Accudose has four on staff, including the two founders. Rounding out the team are David Noday, director of pharmacy, and Carrie Wamer, lead technician.

Noday, who has 35 years in the pharmacy field, said Petrino was one of his externs when he owned Kids N Cures Pharmacy. He consulted for Petrino and his wife, Miracle, when he launched MD Compounding and worked there on his day off from his then full-time job at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, where he now works on a per diem basis.

“When Mark and Mario got together on this, I liked it so much that I quit the hospital and I’m on the ground floor here, trying to make a go of this,” he said.

“After having years of experience running my own pharmacies, this to me was a no-brainer,” he added.

Pictured: Cutting the ribbon Wednesday to mark the opening of the business are Carrie Wamer, David Noday, Mark Franceschelli. Mario and Miracle Petrino.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.