Photo by Robert Fernandez

Photo by Robert Fernandez

SOS Pharmacy, a pharmacy and natural health store, will soon open at 1201 Avenue Z, the former location of Chicken Masters.

We first reported that a pharmacy would open at the location in March 2012, when the building sold for $1.2 million. Chicken Masters remained open at the time, and finally closed up shop in September. Owner Vinnie Mazzone said he threw in the towel after 30 years because the city had made it too difficult to operate a small business due to excessive fines and regulations.

The pharmacy now has signage and a “Coming Soon” announcement in the window. Looking through the glass, one can also see what appears to be a rather swanky, upscale storefront.

Welcome to the neighborhood, SOS Pharmacy.

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  • a good neighbor

    why do we need that many pharmacy in the area? isn’t cvs enough? sounds fishy to me.

  • Tuth

    Should we alert the medical fraud bureau now or after they open?

    • PharmDoc7

      I am a pharmacy student, and it is really insulting to continually face this under appreciation of the profession, where all pharmacies and their pharmacists are automatically taken to be criminals. You can be assured that the majority of pharmacists are dedicated individuals, who display qualities of integrity, which are foundation stones of our profession; yes it is true that fraud exists, and may even exist in alarming proportions in NYC, but please don’t assume every storefront is guilty. Independent pharmacies provide a level of care that chain drugstores cannot provide, so that is why more and more patients are utilizing their services.

      • FBITIPLINE

        Spoken like a Medicaid Scammer in training. We do much good … for ourselves.

        • PharmDoc7

          Your right, especially when we have to deal with people yelling in our faces and spitting at us because their insurance charges a $5 copayment; or when we spend 45 minutes on the phone to reach a doctor so that we can dispense a medication upon which a $1.08 profit is made; or staying open after hours to explain how to administer medication to a new geriatric patient, who won’t remember what you told them the minute they step out the door; or paying thousand dollar fines because a patient didn’t sign for their medication.

          • Local Broker

            With all that being said and pharmacies on every corner, how does a legitimate pharmacy like this make money? I knew a couple of legit pharmacists that were in business for years and recently had to sell out to walgreens because they could not compete either with them or the other one on the corner that gives away free shit all day long.

          • PharmDoc7

            Pharmacies in NYC manage to stay open, primarily due to the high volume of scripts which they dispense per day, we call this “script count.” As compared to other areas in America, in which a small town pharmacy may only encounter 40 prescriptions per day, the falling reimbursement rate provided by the pharmacy benefit managers, would force them out of business. So the high volume of prescriptions is a major factor; niche services like compounding help the bottom line, and also DME products (wheelchairs, canes…etc) generate revenue, as well as OTC products. it is true that under current contracts pharmacies actually receive reimbursements at rates lower then acquisition costs, thereby losing money on some prescriptions. Folks due sell out to chains due to these pressures, and as they are burnt out, they no longer wish to operate their business. So for those people who think pharmacy is on a gravy train, it’s not, and as a business model it is getting dramatically worse, in the bigger picture. Yes I am Russian, and no, I will Never commit insurance fraud.

          • samuel

            Never heard of a non russian pharmacist. all bullspit.

          • Local Broker

            Yeah i dont buy it. Unless you are giving away free stuff like the others do there is no way you have the amount of volume you say to make money. Again i have had this conversation with people in the business and from their decades of experience they say its not possible for a small mom and pop store to make money without doing the wrong thing.

          • ST

            That’s because 10 years ago small private pharmacies made millions of dollars, now its down to hundreds of thousands so all of a sudden those old pharmacies start selling out? Your friends who got involved with owning pharmacies 10-20 years ago, got spoiled. Different times now, you will make money owning a private, just not millions like before.

          • Local Broker

            Millions? I have never met or heard of a legit pharmacists making that kind of money. Maybe making a couple hundred grand at their peak.

          • Andy

            if the things are so bleak, how do they manage to pay a pharmacist fresh out of college $70K+ ?

          • PharmDoc7

            That post by ST is not accurate, pharmacies did not make millions. Pharmacists earn closer to 110~115K, and their isn’t much money left for the operator at the end of the year.

    • pharmacist

      We should alert a psychiatric institution that there is a psycho on the loose in the Sheepshead Bay area. HATER!!!!!

    • PharmDoc7

      Well the Good News for all you folks is that pharmacies will no longer be able to commit insurance fraud, as the NYS iSTOP bill requires all pharmacies to receive electronic prescriptions by December 2014. This will definitely be a pain to implement, and will probably result in longer wait times, enjoy.

      • Andy

        this will not be a pain to implement, and will result in pharmacies receiving prescriptions even before a patient leaves her doctor’s office. i heard similar rants from area doctors who were required to switch electronic data record keeping, and they all have adjusted well.

    • MyBrooklyn

      I would be more concern with crooks aka law makers, politicians and cops….real crooks. Their affiliation with so
      called line of work, make everyone else look like a decent people.

  • EndofDaze

    I never realized that we had so many uncooked fish lovers, wealthy folks, and sick people, in the Sheepshead Bay area! Either we get, a Sushi place, a Bank, or a Pharmacy!!! Go figure?!

    • jboy61

      I think its a good time to call it when you see it… Russians…

  • irina

    whats the point? theres a pharmacy a block away in each direction. more mcr/mcd scamming coming your way…

    • pharmacist

      Please do not insult other people’s decision based on your stupidity. Someone gave you an opportunity to come to this country and live the life the best you can. These people took their opportunity and opened their business. No one drags you by your hand and pushes you to go there. You have the right to go wherever you want. That is why we have a variety of stores and choices. This is why we are all here, for an equal opportunity. HATER!!!!!!!

  • JustMe

    Too many “pharmacies” all over the place. Many next to chain, like Rite Aid, Duane Reed, Walgreens, & CVS. Sure smells fishy to me. Spells MEDICAID FRAUD, IMO.

    • pharmacist

      SMELLS like you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. SPELLS like you need to get an education.

    • PharmDoc7

      It’s called Niche service, okay. Russian grandmas or Russian grandpas who don’t speak English are going to the independent pharmacy, where they can speak to a pharmacist in their native tongue, who also remembers their name, and that story about how their nephew went to Florida. Customer service, that’s not fishy. Yes it’s true, some pharmacies commit fraud, I have seen instances of that, and it is no secret to anybody reading this blog. If you really want to know where the greatest degree of fraud is being committed, turn your nose to Medical Billing Offices, I know people who have stolen millions upon millions of dollars, operating fraudulent billing offices, which change their name every year. They have stolen so much money, that they brag about it openly, and build brand new houses for themselves in the Queens. Please stop bashing pharmacies.

      • samuel

        They probably pay with food stamps.

      • Andy

        I know people who have stolen millions upon millions of dollars, operating fraudulent billing offices, which change their name every year. They have stolen so much money, that they brag about it openly, and build brand new houses for themselves in the Queens.

        No doubt you have reported them all to FBI, as a good citizen, and refused to be an accomplice to these disgusting deeds.

        • PharmDoc7

          There is so much corruption in medical billing that the government can’t handle all reports; by the way the FBI is not involved, you have to contact the HHS OIG. Concerning your other post, ePrescribing is a pain to implement, and even current electronic prescriptions contain a bounty of errors, which the prescriber cannot quickly correct. Computer systems fail, so in those instances no dispensing?! For CII prescriptions, we will now have to consult an electronic prescription drug registry to check a patients drug use, which will definitely be time consuming.

  • ES

    Another lost opportunity for Indian food to come to Sheepshead Bay. Crap. I think I need to start a petition.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Who would you address it to? Brahma?

      • ES

        *weeping* I doooooon’t knoooooow…. :(((

        Although, Ganesha is the Remover of Obstacles, so I think he would be a more obvious choice.

    • guest

      Desi Village needs to return.

  • Yogi

    Its a good thing they are opening a Pharmacy here. We can certainly use one here.

  • mark

    we need more cellphone stores!

  • Sushi

    No we need more sushi

  • Sushi

    We need more sushi

  • winson

    we need a new chicken restaurant, not another pharmacy

  • DesignIsImportant

    What an ugly, non-complementary design. Why didn’t the people who run this place put some more thought into the storefronts appearance?

    The green and gray looks like they just slapped some colors together just to have something there. What does green have to do with a pharmacy theme? What’s

    the relevance? Colors like light blue, white and red would be a much better choice.

    Also, the sign clashes with the general design of the building.They could have at least considered that. Chicken Masters did a much better job at choosing a complementary sign to the building for their storefront. Pic of Chicken Masters storefront for reference – https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/57163_170590492981529_2714973_o.jpg

    • not a designer

      WOW. Didn’t know that we have an excellent designer here. Why don’t you
      enlighten our poor souls? For your information, green color is
      associated with natural and organic. I guess they did not teach you that
      in the design school, since you are such an expert in colors. LOSER!!!!!

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      You’re right. It’s not attractive. But it stands out for its unusual choice of design and colors. It would have worked if the brick was covered with white. And I’m afraid the side windows would have to be covered as well.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        And then is this one on Avenue U. A sign covering a more compacted area, perhaps it works a bit better.

    • sadeyes

      My only complaint regarding the building exterior is that there was a plaque, which Vinnie left on the building, commemorating the building’s original purpose, which as a child I referred to as “the sweatshop”. There was another “sweatshop” diagonally across the street, where a children’s play area is now.
      I hope the plaque is restored. It brings a sense of history to the neighborhood.

      • RFernandez

        Vinnie returned the plaque to the original owners of “the sweatshop.”

        • sadeyes

          Thank you for that information!

  • disqus_Gf76m0Cqd9

    too bad

  • pharmacist

    For those people who have nothing better to do than trash a pharmacy, try to go through a 6-year pharmacy school and survive in this world. These people took an opportunity to open a business and serve the community. Only uneducated and low IQ person would immediately associate pharmacy with something bad. When a person cannot reach a doctor, who do you turn to next? The pharmacist. No one pushes you haters to go there. Go to your CVS or Rite Aid where you would be happy. This is an opportunity for someone else. Welcome to the neighborhood. And by the way, for those who cannot read, the sign also states that this is a Natural Health Store.

    • jboy61

      pharmacy has a bad rap and for good reason. There are 1 out of 10 legit pharmacists in our area. Perhaps you sir/lady are that 1 taking offense. Good to see you haven’t become the villain just yet

      • http://incrediblewordcrap.com/ Phil Rosenthal

        and that 1 in 10 figure is based on which study/research?

    • shelly

      americans have to pay for the 6 years while the “other” get educationfor free. or use food stamps to pay.

      • PharmDoc7

        Since I am Russian by heritage, you may consider me to be in the “other” category, although I consider myself to be an American. For your information I am paying for my pharmacy education, all 32K per year….how sweet it is. Nothing is free, everyone has to give it 110%.

        • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

          Do yourself a favor – don’t respond to trolls. Just hit the flag button.

          • sadeyes

            PharmDoc7 has a professional way of speaking. I think I like him!

      • Stan_LS

        Ah, yes, self-pity from those who didn’t amount to much, so instead of praising those who did – they are claiming an unfair advantage. Typical.

  • sheilly

    Chicken Masters went out because their prices were a rip-off. The only place that charged for delivery too.