D&H Drugstore has been serving the Columbia area since 1956, when Harold Decanniere and Leslie Hoium opened the Broadway location. Blaine Alberty opened the second location on Paris Road with his wife in 1975. With the many changes that have taken place over the years, D&H is still dedicated to maintaining quality service in an atmosphere that is family friendly.

Darran Alberty, a doctor of pharmacy and Blaine Alberty’s son, now works with his wife, Tanya Alberty, a registered pharmacist, to serve the community at D&H. Darran first worked at D&H as a cashier and delivery driver in high school. While in pharmacy school, he worked as a technician, and he joined his father and the rest of the staff as a pharmacist in 1997. In 2001, Darran became a part owner of D&H, and he became the sole owner in 2015. Tanya joined D&H as a pharmacist in 2001.

Darran says he enjoys “just helping our patients overall, some of whom have been coming to us so long that they are like a part of the family.” Tanya adds, “I enjoy talking to our patients about their medications, helping them to understand why it’s important to take their medication, helping them with adherence and seeing their condition improve as a result.” For Tanya, this includes coordinating the Sync My Meds program, which synchronizes the patient’s medications so they can all be filled at the same time.

Darran says that D&H competes with big-box stores through customer service and access to pharmacists and staff. He believes all pharmacists, regardless of practice location, wish to provide great customer service, but that locally owned pharmacies are able to provide that service in a different way because of management practices. “Locally owned pharmacies make it easier for pharmacists and staff to do what is most important, and that’s taking great care of our patients,” Darran says.

Throughout their time in the pharmaceutical business, Darran and Tanya have seen the pharmacy environment change. “We sold cigarettes until the early-to mid-’90s,” Darran says. “And of course, the advent of the Internet has been beneficial for the pharmacists and patients.” Tanya adds that more is expected of retail pharmacy now. “The focus has shifted to management of the whole patient and not just on filling prescriptions,” she says. “Clinical services like medication therapy management and immunizations have been incorporated.”

Technology changes sped up the development of several elements in the pharmacy. Keeping up to speed on new developments helps them stay competitive. Darran says, “We try to use technology to help patients get the most out of their care at a level they are comfortable with, be it the ability to submit refill requests from a smartphone, online or even talking to a live person.”

Changes in health insurance have not made the medical landscape easier, but D&H tries to help their patients understand their insurance benefits and find ways to make their health care more affordable. “Insurances oftentimes dictate where a patient can fill their medications, taking the choice away from the consumer,” says Tanya. “It is difficult when we lose a patient because their insurance is forcing mail order.”

Throughout her career, Tanya says she has learned that the pharmacy field is always changing. “New medications, new drug classes, new changes to the pharmacy practice,” she says. “I never imagined how much education it would take after college to stay current, or that I would ever be giving immunizations. You have to be willing to adapt to the changes.”

Darran says what caused him to come to D&H — and what has caused him to stay — are the people he gets to work with and for. “[It’s] building and having those relationships with our staff and customers and making them part of our family,” says Darran.



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