3 minute read


Small businesses are the cornerstone of Kerrisdale and pharmacist Rabia Sumar takes great pride in being the owner of Pharmasave on West 41st Avenue.

With over 750 stores across the country, Pharmasave is one of Canada’s leading independent pharmacy and drugstore retailers. Each store operates independently to serve its community.

As a pharmacy student in England, Rabia completed both community and hospital pharmacy placements. That is when found her love for smaller, independently owned pharmacies, where she feels patient care is on a more personal level.

She began working at Pharmasave Kerrisdale in 2014. During the four years she worked at the pharmacy she got to know all of the store’s patients individually and felt like they were a part of her extended family.

In 2018, the opportunity arose to purchase Pharmasave Kerrisdale. I quickly stepped up, and the rest is history.

To better serve the neighbourhood, one of the first things she did was to extend the hours of operation to six days a week.

A lot of the pharmacy’s patients ask me if I get burnt out, but when you love what you do, it makes working a lot of fun.

The role of a pharmacist is to focus on overall health and let customers know when they should see a doctor versus self-diagnosing. They optimize patient care and work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure patients are improving their overall health.

“Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals and serve as the first line for many minor ailments. Our expanded scope of practice allows us to offer on-site vaccination services. The importance of pharmacy vaccinations was highlighted during this past year. Many doctors’ offices and clinics were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but pharmacies remained open and mobilized to vaccinate a large population of the general public. Pharmacists allowed patients to receive their flu shot with more convenience and helped ease the burden on our healthcare system,” Rabia explains.

Pharmacists review the clinical need and safety profile of medications and look for nonpharmacological ways to improve patients’ conditions and quality of life.

“It is common for patients to be prescribed incorrect medications, doses or receive therapy duplication. It is my duty as a pharmacist to rectify these mistakes and provide patient autonomy in their treatment plan,” she says.

Pharmacists also adjudicate medications through insurance plans and help patients optimize their drug coverage. Many times, patients are unaware of their prescription benefits or how to receive coverage through B.C.'s Fair PharmaCare Plan. Pharmacists help patients resolve these issues to ensure they receive the most cost-effective management.

The store carries a full range of medications, vitamins, medical devices, and much more, including their own exclusive Pharmasave brand products at competitive prices. If they don’t stock it, they can order it.

The Pharmasave team is committed to providing friendly and personal service.

The minute you step into the small store a staff member will greet you; their goal is to get to know patients and their families.

The store is conveniently located five steps away from Well Health Kerrisdale Medical Clinic. Pharmasave offers prompt prescription service, the lowest dispensing fees in Kerrisdale, free medication delivery, and no additional charge for services such as cutting your pills and blister packing medications. Medications can be conveniently ordered online via the Pharmasave App. Pet prescriptions and compounding prescriptions are also available. Translation services are offered in multiple languages including Mandarin.

Although Rabia does not reside in the neighbourhood, she spends most of her time in Kerrisdale. She enjoys shopping locally and dining at the area’s diverse restaurants and coffee shops.

Rabia is committed to shining the spotlight on local merchants and artists.

“We will be installing a community board in the pharmacy to help highlight and support our local business owners, so if any business in the area would like to drop off a flyer or brochure please feel free to do so. We also like to showcase local talent. We invite you to check out some of our customer’s artwork and handmade cards,” Rabia says.

She adds, “Kerrisdale is like one big family where community truly matters. It is comprised of many small independent stores that actively work together to support one another and Pharmasave Kerrisdale is proud to be a part of this fabulous neighbourhood.”

Pharmasave Kerrisdale, 102-2048 W 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Y8, Telephone 604-261-3335

www.pharmasave.com/store/ pharmasave-kerrisdale/