It’s flu season, and Destrehan Discount Pharmacy’s B.J. Burkenstock advises that when it comes to getting a flu shot, the sooner the better. The pharmacy, which has now settled in its new location at 12627 Airline Hwy. next to PJ’s Coffee in Destrehan, has been issuing flu shots for the past month, and Burkenstock said that when it comes to avoiding the flu, patients should take any preventive measure possible to avoid missing time at work — or simply feeling terrible. Anyone ages seven or older may receive a flu shot at the pharmacy.
“It’s a big deal, because once you get the flu, you’ll be down for a few days, and that’s no fun,” Burkenstock said. “We’re asking everyone who comes in if they’ve got their flu shot. You want to get it as quick as possible so you’re not caught off guard when it’s going around.”
A new wrinkle the pharmacy has introduced is it currently has a Medicare specialist visit the store on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The specialist will help guide patients to utilizing a plan that benefits them most and answer questions each patient might otherwise have.
“A lot of people are switching onto Medicare or have the opportunity to go from one plan to another, and they have a lot of questions,” Burkenstock said. “We’ll have someone who knows all the different plans and can provide answers and guidance.”
Since moving the pharmacy into its new building, Burkenstock said the business has seen an increase in patients, something he in part attributes to the new location being in clear sight to drivers along Airline Highway.
The most popular new aspect of the store has been its drive-thru.
“Everyone loves it,” Burkenstock said. “It’s been really, really big for us. (It’s more convenient for) elderly patients who don’t want to walk in or parents who don’t want to bring kids inside and out the car. It’s the biggest change.”
With over 1,000 extra square feet of space at the new store, there are a wider selection of items available. And the pharmacy is open for longer hours on weekdays (Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.)since moving into the new store, a change Burkenstock said has garnered positive reaction from the community.
“We have more over the counter products than we’ve ever had,” Burkenstock said. “To second that, we carry hard to find stuff you may not be able to find in other places. We like to do those things for our community so we can truly be a one stop shop.”
Pharmacy Manager Steven Faucheaux said the store’s selection of items has been tailored over the years to fit the needs of the store’s customers.
“If you can’t find something, we maybe just never had a need for it before, and now it might be aisle 7 from now on,” Faucheaux said.
Though the location is new, Burkenstock pointed out the pharmacy’s prices remain the biggest drawing card.
“We deeply discount prices of our over the counter items as well as prescription drugs,” he said. “Our prices are second to none, and we’re happy to compare prices with patients if need be.”
The business has been a part of St. Charles Parish for over 50 years, established in 1966. Burkenstock’s grandfather ran the pharmacy, then passed it down to his son — Burkenstock’s father, who passed it down to Burkenstock himself in 2012. The third-generation pharmacist has been run the business since, and said he is proud to keep the tradition alive.
“We see ourselves as a staple in the community,” Burkenstock said. “I take pride in the fact my family started this business from the ground up and that we’ve continued to do what we need to do to serve patients of our community. It speaks volumes. We want to continue that tradition for another 50 years and beyond.
“It’s a tough game, competing with the big guys, but our pricing is second to none and our customer service I’d put up against anyone.”
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