Sarvaiya Named Pharmacist Of The Year

FALCONER – Standing behind a counter, Salim Sarvaiya fills a patient’s prescription. Carefully checking the prescription, Sarvaiya explains how to take the pills and what to expect for side effects. With his prescription filled and paid for, the customer goes on his way not realizing he just spoke to the Pharmacist of the Year.

Decided by the Pharmacy Association of Western New York, the Pharmacist of the Year is voted on by board members. The recipient of the award helps to promote the pharmacy profession, helps people become aware of their conditions and gets legislation passed to give pharmacies fairer competition when it comes to insurance companies.

“The insurance companies have mandatory a mail order. They require the patients get their prescription through a mail order instead of their local pharmacist,” Sarvaiya explained. According to him, if someone ordered a three-month supply of medications it would cost $45 at a pharmacy and $15 for a mail order. “… What they do is if you mail away for it, they get paid for the drug and the co-pay. But when we bill it for the same, they pay us less as compared to what they charge the customers.”

Sarvaiya became interested in pharmaceuticals in 1985 when his father purchased a pharmacy in Sherman. Working alongside his father, he became exposed to the health care profession. Watching his father help customers with their needs and how much respect and trust they had for him due to his advice, Sarvaiya became enamored with the field.

“I just liked the customer service, so I followed in those footsteps,” he said.

Attending SUNY Fredonia, Sarvaiya continued his pharmacy education at Long Island University. After graduation, he helped his father at his store as well as working for Quality Markets pharmacy. In December 2005, Sarvaiya opened Southside Pharmacy in Jamestown and in October 2013, opened Falconer Pharmacy in Falconer.