Right Drug pharmacy under new ownership

CALLAWAY - - When Robert Edgington died of cancer in June, it left much more than just an emotional wound in the community of Callaway. It also left the citizens and patrons of the local drug store wondering just what might become of the business they were so used to having available. Edgington was the owner of Right Drug in Callaway, a combination pharmacy and variety store. He purchased the drug store in 1972, and had run the store since - serving as the community’s pharmacist for 38 years. Edgington formed his own corporation which owns Right Drug, EdgFam. Corporate president of EdgFam is now Rob Edgington, son of Robert. Rob explains that in the months since his father’s death the family has desperately fought to hold on to the business, particularly the pharmacy. Rob says that in keeping with state and federal regulations there had to be a certified pharmacist behind the counter at least 30 hours a week. That, he says, proved to be a real challenge. While a number of visiting pharmacists did what they could to help keep the business going, it just proved to be too much. EdgFam was forced to make the decision to sell the business. While they were hoping someone would purchase the store and continue to run it as a pharmacy/variety store as Robert had, they were not successful in finding such a buyer. Rob says many of the parties interested in purchasing the business planned to take the patient files and inventory out of town. Luckily, that did not happen, as Right Drug has been purchased by Marge Trythall, owner of Varney Rexall Healthmart in Broken Bow. For now, Trythall and her staff are operating the pharmacy out of Right Drug; however, the location of the pharmacy will change in the next few months - as will the name. Trythall has leased the Medical Arts Building, site of the temporary medical clinic in Callaway, and plans to relocate the pharmacy there as soon as remodeling of the building is completed. She says she hopes to have the new Seven Valleys Health Mart operational in the new location by the first of the year. The decision to move the pharmacy, Trythall says, was prompted by a number of logistical issues. She says she likes the idea of the close proximity to the clinic and hospital, as well as the security that is offered in the new facility. There will also be separate patient consultation rooms for added privacy. While the remodeling itself is close to being finished, Trythall says it may take a little while to get all of the necessary equipment in for the new pharmacy. She says a grand opening is being planned, hopefully for later this year. Seven Valleys Health Mart will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Trythall says her staff will continue to operate the new location as they do now, with she herself making the drive to Callaway three days a week and Stacy and Sarah each going over one day a week. Rob says he does not expect the variety store to survive once the pharmacy relocates. He says the variety store is kind of like the candy dish in a bank - people just grab a piece of candy while they are waiting to do the business they came in to do. Rob says EdgFam invested a lot of time and money into trying to keep the store going in Callaway, “because it was the right thing to do.” He says just as his father was hoping for a miracle after his last chemo treatment, the family hoped for a miracle to save the store. But that didn’t happen. The bright spot is the pharmacy will remain in Callaway, serving the area’s medical patients. Trythall says that at this time she does not plan to offer variety merchandise at Seven Valleys Health Mart, as she does not want to compete in any way with Right Drug. Both Rob and Trythall credit the employees of Right Drug for keeping the store going these past few months. “The employees, Joanie, Kathy and Mary Ann, deserve a tremendous amount of credit,” Trythall says. While she is excited about the new opportunity and challenge that the added pharmacy brings, Trythall is also very aware of the emotion involved with the move. “Filling Robert Edgington’s shoes will be a pretty big job,” she says.