In Hindi, “Kushal” means well and “Bhavi” means future, which is why Kushal and Bhavi Patel chose to name their South Loop business the Well Future Pharmacy.
In July 2012, the husband and wife pharmacists opened their independent pharmacy at 1442 S. Michigan Ave., after deciding they could not be a part of the corporate pharmaceutical industry any longer.
“We didn’t feel appreciated in what we were doing,” said Kushal Patel. “We prefer it better because we can handle the situation the way we want to.”
As he stood behind the service counter on a recent morning surrounded by brick walls and wooden shelves, Kushal Patel talked to one customer at length about the side effects he was experiencing while taking a drug. The customer, an older man, complained that he wasn’t feeling well and was suffering from a heart condition. Patel listened sympathetically and suggested the patient eliminate one medication. He also offered to call the patient’s doctor.
Patel clearly loves what he does. While standing behind the counter, he greeted two customers by their first names and said he knows many customers’ medical histories.
“We offer a more personalized service. When you go to Walgreens you are just another number to them,” Patel said. “We know our patients by first name and their medical history, so we can better recommend supplements for them.”
The bell above the door rings as soon as a customer opens it. A woman walks in limping while a doctor from the South Loop Urgent Care center next door assists her.
Well Future Pharmacy gets a lot of referrals from the neighboring urgent care center, the foot clinic next door and optometrists in the area. Meanwhile, walk-ins are welcome.
In a comment posted on Yelp, one customer wrote: “I have a disease that requires a great number of medications and all on different refill schedules. I am also in a wheelchair, so trying to coordinate with new doctors and pharmacists and just physically getting from one to the other seemed a very daunting task. I stopped into Well Future Pharmacy after an appointment in the area. They were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and seemed to truly care. I took an instant liking to them, but living many blocks further north and being in the wheelchair, I knew that with the number of times I need to have prescriptions refilled, I could never manage coming all the way down there every time. Kashal [sic] instantly assured me that distance was no trouble and that he would deliver my prescriptions as often as I needed them, free of charge. He also recommended a number of doctors and specialists in the area that might be helpful for my condition.”
Patel said Well Future Pharmacy offers delivery service anywhere in the greater Chicago area.
“We have patients in the suburbs that take delivery from us, so it’s an added benefit for them,” said Patel.
According to Patel, a South Loop resident, he personally makes deliveries if they are local.
Another customer commented on Yelp that she stopped by Well Future Pharmacy after being diagnosed with the flu and a nasal infection. She wrote, “I was too sick to drive to any of the big box stores, and I certainly was in no shape to walk over to Walgreens or Jewel. So, passing by here several times while walking my dogs, I stopped in here. The two owners were in, and they were super sweet. My prescriptions were filled in no time and took time to answer my groggy questions.”
Well Future Pharmacy accepts all major types of insurance, but according to Patel, his business offers the best plans for those who do not have insurance.
“If people don’t have insurance, we typically have the best price for them, because we don’t have as much overhead as other companies do,” said Patel. “We have better prices on medication whether it be covered by insurance, or if the patient doesn’t have insurance at all.”
Well Future Pharmacy offers pet medication, vitamins and medical equipment, as well as free flavorings for medication and free eco-friendly disposal of prescriptions that patients may no longer need. Well Future also offers $4 prescriptions for customers without health insurance.
According to Patel “We spend as much time with patients as we want because at Walgreens you don’t have time to do those things.”
Well Future Pharmacy is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information visit www.wellfuturepharmacy.com.