Saad Dinno on Acton TV, January 8, 2021

January 15, 2021
saad dinno on acton tv jan 8 2021

Saad Dinno, co-owner of Acton Pharmacy, appeared on Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti’s Acton TV show on January 8, 2021.  The show can be view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftfYfsNsZTs. Below is an edited excerpt:

My name is Saad Dinno. I’m a co-owner of Acton Pharmacy. We have three other locations in the suburbs in Newton, Concord and Lexington. My brother and I are pharmacists. My dad’s a pharmacist, my wife is a pharmacist and I have seven first cousins that are pharmacists. My son now is going to pharmacy school and hopefully graduating in a year and a half, so we love pharmacy.

Acton Pharmacy has been here since 1927. It’s been part of this community for many decades and has played an integral part in providing pharmacy services to a lot of our patients, clients and customers. We bought it from the previous owner who owned it since 1965 and we took on his legacy. We’re still here providing services that the community needs, whether it’s regular retail pharmacy, or making a compounding product in our compounding lab, or doing specialty packaging for those that need help with compliance with their medications.

We provide an array of services not just to Acton but to the surrounding communities as well. It’s an incredible job – we love what we do and we have incredibly loyal customers. It’s nice to see the multi-generational family members that utilize our pharmacy: their grandfather, the son and the grandkids. That’s probably the best part – building long-standing relationships – because that’s what it’s about, being a trusted health care provider in the community. We love every day, every piece of our business and every customer that walks through our door.

Since March, we’ve changed a lot of things about the way we do everything. The first thing we did was implementing some barriers to separate the staff from the customers. We mandated masks for all employees, cleaning on the hour every hour, all the countertops, all the doorknobs, all the things that individuals are getting in touch with.

“If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you.” We have contactless deliveries if that’s what the customer wants. We also have opened up curbside service. That has been probably the most utilized service of all, where you’ll call ahead, whether it’s your prescriptions or over the counter products, we’ll bring it out to your car so you don’t have to come into the store at all. That has been utilized a lot by a lot of our customers.

Knock on wood, we’ve an incredible team that have stepped up to ensure that our services are continued and there’s no lack of any service that we provide in any of our departments. I applaud them tremendously for coming to work and taking care of our customers and patients that need us on a daily basis. We have thirty employees and most of them have been here for a while so that’s terrific. Hopefully this whole pandemic winds down soon and we can get back to a different operating normal.

We are getting a lot of calls because we are vaccinators as well. We provide many different vaccines for flu, pneumonia, shingles and others. We have signed up with the state and federally to provide the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to pharmacies. Of course, we have to abide by the Department of Public Health and local Public Health and abide by the phases. As a community pharmacy, we’ll try to play an integral part in vaccinating as much as we can and work with Heather and her team and Cheryl and her team to see how we could be of assistance to the town of Acton and to the community.

Questions from the audience:

Can I use Acton Pharmacy for my prescriptions if my insurance company wants me to use some of the large chains?

Being part of an independent pharmacy, our fight has been over the past several years trying to get the exact same contracts as the larger chains. Unfortunately sometimes they force individuals to utilize a larger chain. You may be able to come to us once or twice or three times but they sometimes force you to go mail order or a larger chain that’s in our area. That said, individuals can still call their HR department, call their healthcare providers and try to get an exclusion where they don’t have to utilize that service. They can stay with us but just for the records, we take mostly 99% of the insurances out there. Some of them have some restrictions, some of them don’t. It depends on the plan but like I said, most of the time, 99 percent of the time, we’re able to provide the services that the customer needs when it comes to their prescription needs.

Is there a cost to get the shingles vaccine?

For the shingles vaccine, it depends on the insurance. Shingles vaccines goes through Medicare Part D, not Part B, like pneumonia or the flu. So it depends on the deductibles, on the insurance.  99% of the time, it’s covered by insurance. For the most part, it’s zero copay, but if there’s a deductible in the plan, or if that shingles vaccine is included in the deductible, then there’ll be a copay.

What’s a medicine bubble pack?

We have a specialty compliance packaging system called Medicine-on-time. Some people are on two medications or as many as 17, 18 medications that they have to take and figure out during the day. So what we do is we manage that for them. We set up a calendar for the month and put morning medications together, if there’s an afternoon medication we put it together, if there’s a night medication we put it together, so they get all their medications that they need for that day in a bubble packing system. Everything has a time and date on it so they could keep track of when they took the medications. And we assist with refills. We make changes so that the medications are up to date. So there is no question about what do I take today, what do I not take today. It’s been a tremendous service. We’ve been providing it for about 17, 18 years and it’s growing.

Medicine on Time is a customized medication packaging system for patients

Saad Dinno also hosts a health and wellness show on Acton TV called “A Healthier You.” See the video recordings at https://dinnohealth.com/news/