Boulder >Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy
Pharmaca could have killed me with incompetence.
I used to love going here for cosmetics, basic prescriptions/ herbal remedies, etc.
But the first time I had a serious problem that actually required a knowledgeable staff, here's what happened:
In the Boulder location on Pearl street, I was directed to the store by a competitor (Vitamin Cottage, which DOES have an ethical and knowledgeable staff), with regard to my recent experience with severe food allergies. Within minutes of catching the attention of an employee, I explained my problem as follows:
I have had 5 allergic reactions in the past 4 weeks, with one being so severe that I went into shock and was unconscious for the better part of an hour.
I explained that I’m not being treated by a physician due to a lack of health insurance and private funds and that I did manage to see a physician after the 3rd reaction (thanks to the generosity of family) who gave me a diagnosis of Celiac disease and a prescription for Prednisone with the strict instructions that if I should have another reaction after the appropriate fasting and elimination diet, I should immediately return because that would indicate that I had a more serious autoimmune problem. After the 4th reaction (the one that included going into shock, I contacted the clinic but they could give me no advice over the phone and insisted that I need to come in to see the doctor. I explained to the employee at the Boulder store that I wasn’t able to do that as I didn’t wish to further strain family generosity. I simply wanted to find a way to relieve my skin from the worsening hives from the 5th reaction that are atop pre-existing eczema. The employee immediately recognized the severity of my condition and the specialty of my needs and retrieved Joseph Rigan.
Joseph Rigan briefly listened and the interrupted with a recommendation of a tablet
that contained five or six chinese herbs in tablet form. I emphasized again that I was
dangerously allergic to corn as well as needing to be gluten-free and that my latest minor reaction has been in response to fructose (simply eating an apple).
I then asked what the binding ingredient was for these tablets as I could find no such information on the bottle. Mr. Rigan said he didn’t know and asked someone nearby that he seemed to know if she knew and basically told me “It’s probably fine, I really recommend this stuff.” I emphasized AGAIN that I was DANGEROUSLY allergic to corn
and Mr Rigan waved his hand at all the shelves of tablets, capsules and tinctures and said in a grandiose fashion that “I guarantee that none of these things have corn or gluten!”
He implied that I was paranoid. I grabbed the first bottle I saw and read “Xantham Gum” on the ingredient list. I asked Mr Rigan if he knew whether or not it was derived from corn or gluten or soy. He gave a blank stare and I followed up by explaining that it will not simply say “corn” or “gluten” in the ingredient list. Anyone who’s had to go gluten-free or corn-free for more than a week knows that there are hundreds of ingredients that are derivatives of corn or items that contain gluten. He seemed surprised by this information and seemed to have no knowledge at all about food allergies, yet he was hard -selling me a tablet mix of herbs I had no knowledge of!
He could have killed me- NO exaggeration!
Downtown Pharmaca far better than the other 2 stores in town.
The staff is always friendly, polite and helpful.
I can't say that for the North Boulder Pharmaca. I have never encountered such arrogance out of a retail service employee in my life. If they were actually as good of "Herbalists" "Nutritionists" and "Estheticians" as they seem to think that they are, they would most likely be working in their respective field. they need to lose their cockiness.
The new South Boulder Pharmaca is just as bad, I was actually talked down to like a child by their staff Esthetician.
Editorial Review by Lori Midson. Get your doctor's prescription, natural remedies and great advice from the experts at this combined pharmacy.
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