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Medicine Center Pharmacy acquires Marlowe’s Compounding Center as owner retires |

Medicine Center Pharmacy acquires Marlowe’s Compounding Center as owner retires

A longtime local pharmacy has been acquired by another as a medicine veteran with 56 years in the healthcare industry retires to focus on writing a cook book.


NEW PHILADELPHIA A longtime local pharmacy has been acquired by another as a medicine veteran with 56 years in the healthcare industry retires to focus on writing a cook book. 

Medicine Center Pharmacy in New Philadelphia finalized its purchase on June 27 of Marlowe’s Compounding Center in Dover. As of July 1, Medicine Center has been filling prescriptions and compounding needs for patients — including chickens — formally under the care of pharmacist Jerry Marlowe.

Marlowe, now in his 80s, eyed retirement to spend time with his seven grandchildren. The gourmand, who often switched between his white pharmacy lab coat and white chef’s suit to host cooking classes, said he wants to compile recipes for a cookbook and maybe even return to giving culinary lessons. 

“When you’re 81, you’ve done it all,” Marlowe said. “I thought, well, it’s time.”

Marlowe’s parents, William McKinley “Mac” and Frannie, started the family’s first drug store in 1931 in Dover. Marlowe’s Compounding Center opened over 10 years ago. 

Compounding is nothing new to Paul White and his son Brad White, both registered pharmacists, who bought Marlowe’s Compounding Center. Paul White opened his first of four Medicine Center retail pharmacies just over 40 years ago. Medicine Center Pharmacy has had a compounding center at its New Philadelphia location since 2005, so gaining another compounding center “was a natural fit for us,” said Brad White, who has been the pharmacy manager at the New Philadelphia store for 21 years.

“Since we joined forces with Jerry, we’ve done a lot more veterinary products for small animals — cats, dogs,” he added. “We got a couple chickens now, so it’s kind of fun.”

Medicine Center pharmacies are located in New Philadelphia, Canton, Minerva and Louisville. The compounding center became accredited in 2007 and is a non-sterile lab with trained pharmacists.

“Acquisitions work good for us when we can find a suitable partner,” Paul White said. “Jerry was a suitable partner because he was strictly in the compounding business.”

Compounding is different than a typical pharmacy filling a prescription. Essentially, pharmacists are crafting personalized medications.

“Sometimes, there’s a problem a patient may have that could be better served by a custom solution,” Brad White said.

For example, if a patient has difficulty swallowing pills, a special cream that can be applied topically can be manufactured with the same ingredients as the pill.

Compounded prescriptions are based on physician orders and prepared by mixing prescribed ingredients in specific strength and dosage forms required by each individual patient. The treat a wide range of medical conditions, including hormone therapy, impotence, weight loss, skin conditions, wart removal and prescribed pet medications. 

Inside the compounding lab at the Medicine Center in New Philadelphia, preparation of personalized medicine is done by professionals in white coats, hair nets, masks, gloves and shoe covers. There are multiple scales that integrate with computers to ensure there’s the right mix of chemicals and ingredients. Capsule machines fill the tiny medicine capsules and there’s an automated ointment mill to make creams and ointments that Brad White described as a glorified KitchenAid mixer. Powder containment hoods keep pharmacists and employees safe from inhaling bulk powders as well as keep prepared medicines protected from other chemicals.

In the next several months, the compounding center will be torn out and re-done because of new pharmaceutical standards, Brad White said. The facility will be upgraded to meet new standards of protection and air control. 

That’s also one of the reasons Marlowe looked to retire. As the healthcare field is evolving and with new standards approaching that would require more financial responsibility, “you either get bigger or you get out,” Marlowe said.

“I thought it was time to affiliate with Paul and Brad,” Marlowe said. “(Medicine Center) is three miles away (from Marlowe’s Compounding Center),” Marlowe added. “Many of my patients were from New Philadelphia and I thought I’d have no problem sending my patients three miles away. I have a lot of faith in Brad and his staff.”

Marlowe’s now former compounding center is closed. Prescription files and equipment has been re-located to New Philadelphia. All of Marlowe’s patients were notified of the acquisition through letters and phone calls. Marlowe had one other employee, Mike Miklos, who worked with him 20 hours a week, who also retired from the pharmacy industry.

Paul White said he’s known Marlowe for several years, with their acquaintance beginning in the 1970s. Marlowe reached out to the Whites to see if there would be any interest in Medicine Center purchasing his compounding center. The Medicine Center’s compounding non-sterile lab was accredited in 2007. Total, Medicine Center Pharmacy employs 14 full-time people in New Philadelphia. 

“Jerry has been a fixture in the community for so long, we know he has relationships with patients and providers that would be an addition to our pharmacy business, and help us gain new experience to continue to build our problem-solving skills,” Brad White said. “Jerry has owned other pharmacies in the past; Medicap Pharmacy was in Dover, and that is how our family got to know him. I feel it went a long way to building a relationship of trust to bring this merger together.”

Reach Alex at 330-364-8314 or alex.knisely@TimesReporter.com

On Twitter: @akniselyTR

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