Rosscarbery Pharmacy a finalist in the National STEM Network Ireland Business Woman of the Year Awards

Photo : Rosscarbery Pharmacy at the  at the National Business Women of the Year Awards at the Celtic Ross. (l-r)  Sandra Hayes, Claire Hayes-Powell, Margaret Deane, Noelle Madden, Bernard Madden & Michelle Healy

There have been many changes made in Rosscarbery Pharmacy since Noelle and Bernard Madden purchased it from the previous owner in 2005.

An extensive refurbishment of the premises was undertaken in 2010 with a bright, modern, airy pharmacy complete with a dispensing robot the result. The pharmacy, which caters for all prescription, healthcare, first aid and beauty needs, currently employs 10 staff and prides itself on the provision of a high level of service to all its customers.

Noelle Madden recently won the Network West Cork STEM (science technology engineering and maths) Business Woman of the Year went on to represent West Cork in the National Awards at the Celtic Ross Hotel on September 27, 2019. She talks to West Cork People about running a busy pharmacy in West Cork and keeping up with new developments in her industry.

What is the ethos/mission statement of the business?

We walk the path of life with our customers through sickness and health. Our aim is to help people to remain healthy and well through healthy lifestyle advice; and when people become unwell to help patients navigate the often complex medication regimens prescribed by their doctors, explaining how best to take the medicines prescribed for them and checking to ensure that any new medicines won’t interact with other medicines that they are already taking.

What are your achievements to date personally and professionally?

I’m mum to three beautiful children – Cliodhna (12), Cillian (10) and Odhran (9). I feel blessed to have the support of my husband Bernard and our three wonderful children to whom everything is possible and their hugs and kisses at the end of even the toughest day at work make it all worthwhile!

While studying pharmacy at Trinity College, Dublin, I was honoured to be awarded the prestigious Foundation Scholarship. I graduated with a distinction in my Masters in Community Pharmacy from Queens University in Belfast.

Having worked in community pharmacy for 11 years, I realised my dream of owning my own pharmacy when Bernard and I purchased Rosscarbery Pharmacy on May 5, 2005. It was a massive moment, a massive risk, but it made my life complete. I worked extremely hard and I am proud of how my team and I traded through a very tough recession with many challenges. We came out the other side with a business of which I am very proud.

How have you upskilled yourself to ensure you keep ahead in your industry?

As a pharmacist, I have to continuously engage in CPD to keep my clinical skills up to date. I have always enjoyed learning and I take great pride in keeping my skills up-to-date so I can give my patients the best pharmacy service possible. Every Spring and Autumn, I attend a series of clinical lectures for pharmacists in Cork city; the lectures start at 8pm so it makes for a very long day heading to the city straight after work. However, I think it’s very important to keep up-to-date with the latest drug treatments and disease insights. 

I have always been open to and welcomed new technology. The dispensing robot installed during the pharmacy refurbishment in 2010 was an expensive investment at the time and to date it is one of only three dispensing robots in Cork. It has proved a fantastic addition to the pharmacy in terms of organisation of stock and as an aid to workflow allowing the pharmacist to spend more time advising patients about their medicines and less time simply counting tablets.

Future development of the business?

I want to continue providing the best pharmacy service I possibly can for my customers. To that end, I recently travelled to London to complete a ‘Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine’ course. I am passionate about a holistic approach to health and I would love to develop a service where we could examine a person’s diet and lifestyle and medication in the context of any health conditions or issues that they are experiencing and help patients to help themselves through dietary and lifestyle changes and through a better understanding of their prescribed medicines….watch this space!

Mary O'Brien

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