Keeping Tradition Alive In Altadena

Front cover WCPShopping local doesn’t equate to shopping at a big box chain centered in communities such our beloved Altadena. Shopping local means that a community supports their local small businesses. Webster’s Community Pharmacy has been a firm long-standing supporter of its customers since 1926. Current owners Michael and Meredith Miller have continued the legacy of this establishment while bringing in fresh ideas, building on personal relationships with their customers, providing a family-friendly work environment for their employees and much more.

From our wildly popular Fancy Food Truck Fridays to our Holiday Open House and special engagements, every event we produce is tailored to the heart of our community. We love spending time with our customers! Our staff is fully committed to making sure each customer feels like they are part of the family. Unlike big box stores who rely heavily on databases to look up customers’ names, our staff knows most customers by first name as well their history.

At Webster’s Community Pharmacy we know that this slice of Altadena pie enjoys the Mayberry touch. That’s why we provide Delivery Service to our customers’ homes or place of business within Altadena. We also accept most prescription plans while charging the same amount for them as big box chains, and have them ready in less than 10 minutes.

This nod to nostalgia is mixed with current social media trends including other time proven means of communication. Custom-made newsletters with store news and information are published monthly. Meredith Miller is the voice of our store’s Facebook Page sharing daily store news, pharmaceutical related information and community stories. Stop by our page to say hello to Meredith, she will happily respond. You can also find us on Yelp, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social media platforms.

Support local this year as we continue to develop new ways to better serve our community. We look forward to serving you soon!

Pasadena Weekly’s Best Of 2012 “Reader Recommended” Best Local Pharmacy

We are honored to be named “Reader Recommended” Best Local Pharmacy in Pasadena Weekly’s Best of 2012! With all of the competition coming into Altadena Webster’s Community Pharmacy has come on top with unbeatable service. With well deserved pride Meredith Miller shared, “In the short time that we have been with Webster’s Community Pharmacy we are honored to know that we have made a difference in the community.” Committed service, community presence and social responsibility are the building blocks of this unique pharmacy. Thank you Pasadena Weekly for this distinguished recognition!

Meredith Miller Accepts A Seat On The Altadena Chamber of Commerce

Far right: Meredith Miller from Webster's Community Pharmacy swears-in as one of the Directors of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce.

During the mixed weather and promises of new beginnings in late January, Meredith Miller, co-owner of Webster’s Community Pharmacy, accepted a seat as one of the Directors of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce. She has joined forces with some of Altadena’s most respected small business owners. Together with her fellow Directors, Meredith will be working to move Altadena forward with creative and innovative ideas that will stimulate energy across the city.

The Chamber’s 88th Annual Awards and Installation Reception was held on a cool Friday night. All the past presidents were listed there – from L.G. Collison in 1924, to Inger Miller in 2011. That’s a cumulative 88 years of service to our community. “Altadena is an amazing place and it was obvious at the Reception, that people really respect and appreciate each other around here.  Altadena has seen World Wars, Depressions, Earthquakes, Recessions and even Wind Storms. That being said, there is a foundation here that can’t be broken and I’m honored to do my small part to help us continue on our very special path”, stated Meredith Miller.

As a stakeholder in the community there is a great responsibility in making positive changes by getting involved – putting action behind promised words. Meredith has many years of experience in community relations building awareness as the one of the Directors of the Pasadena Humane Society, as a former member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and other organizations.

Altadena is a bright spot in the San Gabriel Valley. What are some of the things you are excited to see more of in this community?

Shop With Us On Small Business Saturday

Supporting Your Community Pharmacy: Shop Small On Small Business Saturday

Webster’s Community Pharmacy will be participating with the second annual American Express campaign, Shop Small Business Saturday, November 26. In addition to the Amex rebate, you’ll get a special 20% discount on your purchase of $20 or more at our store. This offer includes all gifts, seasonal décor, and OTC purchases! We love our all customers and this is our way of saying thanks for your support.

Connecting with our community is important to us, because we value small town ties. This relationship fuels the drive to bring you the best events in town. Such as Altadena’s favorite Fancy Food Truck Fridays, our unique Designer Drug Jewelry Trunk Show featuring local artist Susan Braig, our recent smash hit Holiday Open House, and much more. We enjoy mingling with the community of Altadena!

Keep local and Shop Small!!

Welcoming Pharmacist Lorig Matosian To Our Team

Recently Webster’s Community Pharmacy has welcomed pharmacist Lorig Matosian to our team. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2009.  As a local resident,  she brings with her the love for her community, and the ability to serve customers with sincerity and respect. “I love the community environment at the pharmacy and the type of care we are able to provide our patients”.

A typical day at Webster’s Community Pharmacy includes: attention to detail, meeting all of the patients’ needs, and preparing everything in a timely manner. This formula enables the pharmacist to have a positive impact in improving people’s lives. In today’s medical world of specialists and multiple doctor visits, Lorig pointed out that by having all of your prescription needs taken care of at one pharmacy, “we can ensure that there are no unplanned drug interactions or other side effects.” Having Lorig on hand provides the convenience of the new Vaccine Clinic where patients are able to get quick access  to flu shots, pneumonia vaccines and other vital medications. Patients don’t need to wait for an appointment with their doctor, they can save time by coming to the pharmacy for quality hands-on service.

Lorig’s bubbly personality and caring heart is what patients are quickly becoming familiar with. Come on over and introduce yourself!

Pull, Spin, Squeeze: Vintage Toys at Webster’s Community Pharmacy

With all that modern day technology has to offer, it’s easy to miss vintage toys from our past. The joy of watching a slinky work itself mysteriously down a flight of stairs is a favorite pastime that few children of today know very little about, if at all. Remember those wind-up toys that would keep your attention for hours? Did you ever spin a top? Toys such as these are not only reminiscent of our childhood, they also carry with them numerous care-free days with friends and family.

Case in point: The other day a boy around 10 was playing with the gyro wheel toy that we have as a sample – he was mesmerized by it and when asked if he liked it as much as a video game he said, “I like this even better!” Classics are always appreciated by all ages!

Thankfully these treasured toys from our past have found a new home at Webster’s Community Pharmacy. Stop by with your loved ones to share those fond memories with them.

Photo Gallery

We’d love to hear from you! Share some of the toys you most adored as a child with us in a comment below.

Getting to know your Altadena neighborhood pharmacist, Michael Miller.

Michael Miller, Owner and Pharmacist at Webster's Community Pharmacy in Altadena.

Altadena has long been the home of the iconic Webster’s Community Pharmacy. This neighborhood establishment was highly attractive to owners Michael and Meredith Miller who had previously owned the successful Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain in South Pasadena. “Having been in the community almost 20 years, and having brought back that historical establishment to be a very successful business, I thought it would be a natural calling to do something at Webster’s. They are also an iconic fixture in the community and we had a strong desire to bring in new and fresh ideas.”

Pharmacist Michael Miller comes from a long line of health care providers, which has influenced his passion for medicine and patient well-being. The shortage in pharmacists during the time when he graduated from college propelled him to pursue a career in that field. Since receiving his license in the mid 1970’s, Michael has taken his calling to help his community by providing them with the best possible health care. “We pride ourselves in knowing who our customers are, and caring about their protocols.” The Millers have taken action behind their words with the recent installation of a state-of-the-art robotic prescription dispensing system. This cutting-edge technology safeguards against any errors that can potentially happen at the daily level.

Among the many unique amenities that patrons can find at the new Webster’s Community Pharmacy, is a custom delivery service. “We pride ourselves in superior service. Being able to offer local deliveries to our customers’ home or office is a good option for those who need or want that type of courtesy. It’s unique because no chains offer this type of delivery service.” Part of doing things differently includes the option of paying for prescriptions and other items through the nostalgic charge accounts of yesteryear. “It’s something that is almost unheard of, but our customers enjoy that convenience. We have more flexibility than the corporate big box stores.”

At a time when everything has been streamlined to the point of losing quality service when shopping, it’s comforting to know that there are community independent pharmacies that still go that extra mile. Michael’s drive and passion is evident in the type of benefits his customers are now coming to expect from Webster’s Community Pharmacy. “We look forward to working in this new environment. Helping our customers get the best health care is our top priority. I’m always available for questions, too. Our patrons know that they don’t have to climb the corporate ladder to get answers. The buck stops with me.”

Independent drugstores rank high in survey of Consumer Reports.


 Independent drugstores rank high in survey of Consumer Reports readers

(NATI HARNIK/ ASSOCIATED PRESS) – Although may chain stores have removed their online price-checker feature, people facing large out-of-pocket drug bills may want to shop around for the best deals.

    Calk one up for the little guy. Consumer Reports’ latest drugstore study affirms that the top-rated walk-in stores are neighborhood independents, not giant chains such as Walgreens and CVS.

    Of CR readers who shopped at independent drugstores and participated in the survey, the vast majority were highly satisfied with their experiences. Included in the “independent” group were The Medicine Shoppe and Health Mart, chains that are individually owned and operated. Independents made fewer errors, offered swifter service and were much more likely to have medications ready for pickup when promised than traditional chain, supermarket and big-box-store pharmacies, the survey found.

    People who filled their prescriptions at independent stores also praised the pharmacists’ accessibility and personal service, and encountered fewer delays and medication mix-ups than those who shopped elsewhere.

    These findings are based on the responses of more than 40,000 Consumer Reports readers; while that’s a large number, the respondents were not selected at random and therefore their views are not necessarily representative of all consumers.

    One of the most disturbing findings is that so few people are talking to their druggists about dosing, interactions or medical conditions. Less than half the respondents had a conversation with their pharmacist about their prescription drugs; only a small number discussed over-the-counter medicines.

    If you’re seeking answers on the Internet rather than from a health-care professional, you’re “swimming in shark-infested waters,” warns physician John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “Brand drugmakers have so much money and are so smart that it is very difficult to find information online that they do not influence heavily,” he says. “In my mind, unless you are very careful and already well informed, you should assume that whatever you read on the Internet is coming from a drug company.”

    Other results:

    – Problems are common. Almost half the readers participating in the survey had at least one problem during a total of about 54,000 drugstore visits. Top gripes: Medicine was out of stock, counter service was slow and the order wasn’t ready when promised.

    – On-time delivery improves. Overall, drugstores have gotten better at delivering prescriptions when promised. That’s especially good news because nearly half the respondents said the ability to get in and out quickly with medicine in hand was an important consideration in choosing a drugstore, compared with a much smaller number in the survey Consumer Reports conducted in 2002.

    – It pays to shop around. If you have large out-of-pocket costs, it’s wise to do some comparison shopping. That might require phone calls, because many chains (Costco is an exception) have removed their online price-checker feature.

    – Discounts and freebies are available. Some stores offer free diabetes drugs and 14-day supplies of certain generic antibiotics, along with low-priced generic prescription drugs (for example, a 30-day supply for $4 or three months’ worth for about $10) and discounted immunizations for flu, measles, chickenpox, tetanus, pneumonia, hepatitis, HPV and other conditions. (Pharmacists in all 50 states are now permitted to inoculate.)

    Many chains, including CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, have walk-in clinics offering services such as inexpensive physicals for school sports, pregnancy tests and treatment for ailments such as bladder infections, poison ivy and pinkeye.

    – The Internet can be hazardous. Though there are credible online pharmacies, such as those affiliated with physical stores (, for example), most are shady. That’s the conclusion of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which accredits online drugstores. Of the more than 7,000 online drugstores whose practices the NABP has reviewed, only about 3.5 percent appear to be legitimate. The rest sell foreign or non-FDA-approved drugs, don’t require a valid prescription, lack a physical address or otherwise fail to meet the NABP’s standards.

    “We still have big concerns about rogue sites,” says Ilisa Bernstein, a deputy director in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Roughly 36 million Americans have bought medications online without a valid prescription.

    – E-prescribing isn’t used enough. With almost 4 billion prescriptions dispensed annually, there’s ample opportunity for wrong dosing instructions, missed drug interactions, patient allergies and errors due to illegible handwriting. If more doctors sent prescriptions electronically to drugstore computer systems, which have access to patients’ medical histories, the error rate would drop and doctors would spend less time clearing up confusion.

    Copyright 2011. Consumers Union of United States Inc.

    A recent Washington Post poll has determined that independent pharmacies rank high in overall customer service.  In general, independent pharmacists are more accessible, more likely to counsel patients and keep excellent prescription records.  This survey was conducted among a sampling of Consumer Reports readers. At Webster’s Community Pharmacy, we value every patient’s health and trust in our services.  Michael Miller, our Pharmacist-In-Charge has been practicing for over 30 years.  He is always available to offer advice, counsel on medications and lend a supporting ear whenever necessary. If you have any questions about your medications, OTC items or other concerns, please give us a call at 626-797-1163.

    This Makes Sense…And it’s Easy to Follow!

    The first lady, Michelle Obama, on Thursday relegated the government’s well-known food pyramid to the sands of history, unveiling a new, simpler image of a plate divided into basic food groups.

    The new design, called MyPlate, was conceived as a crucial part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign against obesity designed to remind consumers about the basics of a healthful diet.

    The plate is split into four sections, for fruit, vegetables, grains and protein.  A smaller circle sits beside it for dairy products.

    Mrs. Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, the surgeon general, unveiled the new healthful eating icon at a news conference in Washington.

    “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” Mrs. Obama said.  “We’re all bombarded with so many dietary messages that it’s hard to find time to sort through all this information, but we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates.”

    If the filled plate looks like the symbol, with lots of fruits and vegetables, she said, “then we’re good, it’s as simple as that.”

    Nutritionists often criticized the food pyramid, which was first advanced in 1992, or being misleading or hard to understand.  Some gave the plate cautious praise on Thursday.

    “Americans aren’t used to eating this way, so this is a big change,” Dr. Nestle said.

    The plate was created by the Agriculture Department with advice from the first lady’s anti-obesity team and federal health officials.  The Agriculture Department said that it had conducted focus groups with about 4,500 people, including children, as it developed the plate.

    The project, with the Web site and related educational materials, cost about $2 million.  That money will also help pay for an educational campaign about the plate over the next year, officials said.

    Super Foods: Berries

    If you are looking for a delicious way to add fiber and antioxidants to your diet, look no further than berries. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are sweet, easy to pop into your mouth as a snack and a much healthier choice than a candy bar. All are anti-inflammatory, rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, offer immune-boosting antioxidant activity and:

    1. Are an excellent source of phytonutrients, and a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
    2. Provide folate, vitamins B2 and B3, magnesium and other essential nutrients.
    3. Contain ellagitannins, natural health-protective compounds that appear to have potent anti-cancer activity.
    4. Have a lower glycemic load than tropical fruits.

    For a quick and simple nutritional boost, top your cereal with a wide range of colors of berries, add some to a smoothie or salad use them in sauces and baked goods, or enjoy them on their own. As with other berries, because commercial strains may be heavily sprayed with pesticides, I recommend buying only organic varieties.

    -Dr. Weil Blog