Integrating Traditional and Complementary Approaches
by Linda Sechrist
Still in the spring of integrative medicine, Bucks County is sprouting green shoots of integrative medicine—the approach that intertwines traditional health care with a full spectrum of complementary modalities. One seed, planted in the mid-1990s, has flowered at the Lionville Natural Pharmacy, where the father and son team of Ben and Michael Briggs are integral members of a holistic healthcare center and are directly involved in a team approach to patient care.
Unlike early pharmacists that mostly filled prescriptions by counting pills and pouring liquid into tiny containers, the Briggs are learned compounding pharmacists, meaning they consult with healthcare providers to consider the dosages, interactions and side effects of medications and to create pharmaceuticals that fit the unique needs of each patient. “On average, we handle 30 customized prescriptions a day,” says Michael, who oversees the pharmacy technicians that prepare the compounds. They also boast more personalized service when patients have questions about their medication regimens.
In addition to compounding, the team’s knowledge of natural supplements also stands out. “We converted to a natural pharmacy in the mid-1990s to get out of the insurance racket and pursue alternatives and because our customers showed a lot of interest in using natural supplements,” says Michael, a nutritional consultant, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants (AANC).
“I like thinking outside the box, so a natural pharmacy made sense, even then. Now, I believe it’s the future of the pharmacy business,” says Michael, who enjoys interacting with customers, as well as doctors that are open to treatment that combines medications with herbs and natural supplements. “While some doctors are heading in this direction, we have a good share of health practitioners in the tri-state area who already use an integrative approach,” notes Michael, clarifying his perspective. “Some conditions need to be treated traditionally and some can be managed with a complementary approach. Others benefit from both. It simply can’t be all one-sided,” he reasons.
The Briggs started a holistic health center with a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare in 2004. “We see this as a trend in prevention and wellness and would like to offer the services of a chiropractor and potentially even a medical doctor because it would give us even more freedom in the area of prescribing regulations. It would also be great to be in close proximity so we could bounce ideas off one another as well as learn from each other,” comments Michael.
The pharmacy has been in business for 34 years and at its present location, in Exton, for 21 years. “I believe that we are still here because we strive to provide the highest standard of service possible and because we treat everyone like they are a member of our family,” notes Michael. “It’s simply natural for my dad and me to offer the best care possible.”
Location: 309 Gordon Dr., Exton. For more information, call 610-363-7474 or visit LionRx.com., April 2013