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Nathan Aldrich, pharmacist and co-owner at Lawrence Drug & Compounding Lab
Photo by Brandon AlmsNathan Aldrich is a pharmacist and co-owner at Lawrence Drug & Compounding Lab Purchase Photo

NATHAN ALDRICH

Pharmacist/Co-Owner at Lawrence Drug & Compounding Lab

Podcast or Book Recommendations: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz and the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast  |  Social Media Handle: @LawrenceDrug

Breakthrough Moment: “There have been a collection of small but significant opportunities that have led us here. I think with each challenge I’ve faced, I’ve learned to back up, look at the whole picture, and then lean in with faith.”

When the pandemic hit, Nathan Aldrich and his staff at Lawrence Drug & Compounding Lab found a way to make their own hand sanitizer, selling it for donations and using the overage to supply sanitizer to first responders.

It’s just one example of the autonomy and responsiveness Aldrich was seeking when he left his position as a clinical pharmacist at Mercy to partner with his wife, Brooke, who is also a pharmacist. Together, they opened a second location of Lawrence Drug, the business Brooke’s family founded 30 years ago. This new chapter in the pharmacy’s history leveraged her family’s deep roots in the industry and his passion for entrepreneurship to extend Lawrence Drug’s reach in the community.

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At the newer Ozark location, which was established in 2014, and the original Springfield location, Lawrence Drug offers traditional pharmacy services along with specialty compounding. Aldrich says this capability “allows us to customize and combine therapies to make individualized treatment options,” something he believes people are seeking.

“Everything in our society right now is customized,” he says. “Netflix knows what you want. You can customize any type of order online, but somehow we’re okay with set, standard doses and therapies.” Particularly with genetic testing poised to play an increasing role in healthcare, Aldrich sees compounding as a way to tailor treatment to a specific person’s needs. For example, he says, “If Patient A only needs a fifth of the dose, compounding pharmacies can make that.”

Four-legged family members are part of  Lawrence Drug’s patient base, too. Aldrich has been working with area veterinarians to distribute a medicine-delivery paste, specially formulated for pets’ palates. He recently rolled out a chicken flavor—“Even cats seem to like it,” he says—and he’s working on tuna-salmon and peanut butter varieties. It’s all part of reducing medication-related anxiety for both owners and pets, which, he says, leads to greater compliance with prescribed therapies.

Aldrich wants to continue to grow the pharmacy’s impact in 417-land. He also hopes to make pharmacy pricing more transparent by partnering with employers to offer fair pricing on prescription medications. He will continue to make his local pharmacy even more integrated with the community and has a goal of opening a nonprofit community pharmacy. “I view the pharmacy to become not just a place to pick up your prescriptions but to become a partner in your health,” Aldrich says.

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