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Madison Pharmacy Owner Finds Customers 'Love Consistency'

On week of 'Frank Iannarone Day,' pharmacist talks about his business and coming national chain.

For two decades, Frank Iannarone has owned the Madison Pharmacy at Main Street and Central Avenue.

He bought the pharmacy after externing there as a student in Rutgers' pharmacy program, and now he's the one accepting externs. He even married one of them, his wife, Karen, who works for Novartis in its over-the-counter division.

Iannarone said he's the third owner of Madison Pharmacy and before 66 Main Street was a pharmacy, it was a bank.

A topic that comes up with customers these days is the Walgreens that's under construction at Main Street and Greenwood Avenue, usually in the context of how customers plan to keep their business with him—which Iannarone is happy to hear.

He said he hopes Walgreens' arrival, possibly by year's end, would have more of an effect on the pharmacy at Stop and Shop than on the Madison Pharmacy.

He said he has established strong relationships in the community from coaching softball teams, working with the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Commission. Two of his four pharmacists live in Madison.

And the pharmacy has an ear piercing station, which is where he estimates just about every girl in Madison has her ears pierced.

The pharmacy works with assisted living facilities and college health centers, and fills about two hundred prescriptions a day, he said.

"You have to go out and get your business," Iannarone said

His customers "love consistency," he said. "It gives them a good feeling."

Last week, one customer let him know she knew he was on vacation the week before, and then asked about a particular vaccination. When another customer walked in, he let her know her husband's prescription was in before she had the chance to ask for it.

"That's what I'm here for," she said.

Its website bills the Madison Pharmacy as "a family owned, independent pharmacy in beautiful downtown Madison" offering "small town charm with state of the art technology and service."

"We will fill your prescriptions promptly, bill your health insurance company, and even deliver your prescriptions if you desire," it says.

So, while many consider the Madison Pharmacy a "mom and pop" business, that might not do justice for the operation that needs to work with insurance companies, comply with privacy laws and relied on two generators to keep its computers running so it could continue filling prescriptions after a snowstorm last October knocked out power.

"Technologically, we're up there with anybody else," he said.

Iannarone's involvement in the community hasn't gone unnoticed. Last week, Mayor Bob Conley declared Sept. 24 Frank Iannarone Day in recogntion of his volunteer efforts with the Municipal Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse, leading three county-sponsored campaigns to combat underage drinking and illegal drug use—Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Sticker Shock, and a prescription drug drop off event, that involved working with the Madison Police Department.

He also works with seniors to explain the proper use of prescription drugs and the potential risks of drug interactions, and was named the Morris County Alliance Volunteer of the Year.

Steve Wells October 01, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Frank's the best! Leave him for a faceless corporation? Never. No matter how many imbeciles contend that "corporations are people too." Besides, he's one of the biggest Yankees fans I know!"
kcd October 01, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Frank is a great guy and the Madison Pharmacy represents downtown service and convenience. They deliver too!
Arleen J. Gaetani October 02, 2012 at 12:02 AM
To me it is a sad day when Walgreens comes to Madison. It is so not in keeping with the spirit of Love Madison, Shop Madison. Family owned businesses give back to the community in so many ways. Frank is the best even though he is a Mets fan! Congratulations to you on Frank Iannarone Day.
Stephen Mindnich October 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Frank is a model of consistency that I can vouch for! Before every Jets home game, four hours before kickoff, my tailgating crew and I meet Frank and all the other Madison guys and gals in parking lot B. We've been doing it for years, and always have a great time. The only thing thing that "consistently" ruins the day is the Jets. In all seriousness, Frank, congratulations, you certainly deserve it. Steve
Sean Moronski October 02, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Our family came on board to Madison Pharmacy in January when our prescription plan was no longer accepted by our previous pharmacy. They would up doing us a favor as Madison Pharmacy has been a model of customer service. If Walgreens wants to compete in Madison, so be it, but they cannot match the personal touches offered by Madison Pharmacy.
dave carver October 03, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Every year, my company sends me a letter letting me know how much $ I can save by using the mail order Rx program. Every year, I throw the letter in the trash.. as I already have a great Rx program and Pharmacist.. Frank and his entire team. I met Frank when his daughter Nicole was on my All Star Softball team when she was in 5th grade (this year, she is a freshman in college.. i am getting quite old). Frank's contribution to the success of Madison Softball goes way beyond being a coach. He puts in heaps of hours behind the scenes and has successfully connected our youth rec program with the MHS softball program and coaches. Walgreens has no idea what they are up against in Madison.
Madison Station October 03, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Some folks want the "Small town" pharmacist, others want the anonymity of a large corporate pharmacy. To each their own, and Madison has options for both. That's what makes this town great. Something for everyone. High end restaurants, low end restaurants. Whole Paycheck, Stop and Slop. Jaguar, Honda. You get the idea...
carl chiofolo December 23, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Frank is the best! During hurricane Sandy's aftermath he did things for me that CVS would have Never done. I love his staff as well. Young and older they are helpful and courteous. Walgreens can SABFD!

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