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Mariava Phillips
September 18, 2023

Realo Drugs next to their sister company, Carolina Home Medical, in New Bern, North Carolina.

As part of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Postgraduate Year One (PGY1) Community-Based Pharmacy Residency Program expansion, Realo Drugs in New Bern, North Carolina is excited to partner with Carolina as a residency site.  

This expansion is focused on reaching Eastern North Carolina in rural and underserved areas. Realo Drugs, a family-owned community pharmacy, has been serving this part of the state since 1982 with 18 locations across the region—four of them in New Bern, including their flagship store where the resident will train. 

Realo Drugs is proud to offer complete care, partnering with local providers to offer continuity of care, convenience and more than just prescriptions. Their motto is “care beyond your prescriptions” and their top priority is the patients’ health and building relationships. Realo Drugs also offers compounding, chronic care management services and transition of care services. 

“We are in front of a lot of opportunities that are available for community pharmacists because we have access to an electronic health record, and we have great health care partners in the community,” said Ashley Abode, Pharm.D. ‘10, Realo Drugs clinical service coordinator. “A resident gets to see more aspects of patient care—almost like an ambulatory care experience, but in a community pharmacy setting.” Abode is a second-generation pharmacist and double Tar Heel with her pharmaceutical science degree received in 2008. Her dad started and is the owner of Realo Drugs.  

A typical week for a resident will encompass a lot of clinical pharmacy work, including engaging with a set of patients by checking for medical changes and refills, completing medication reviews, putting together blister packs, being part of a disease state education class like diabetes. The resident will work alongside three clinical pharmacists and two technicians.  

“I love to have driven, fresh minds coming into the workplace. It’s always great to hear a new take on how things are done. Residents are coming here fresh out of school, immersions and rotation experiences and we always thrive from hearing about the things they’ve seen and learned elsewhere,” said Abode.  

New Bern offers a lot to do and explore. It is the second oldest town in North Carolina and has a rich history. Abode shared that for those who love to spend time on or near the water, New Bern is perfect. There are two rivers that run through the city and it’s only an hour away from the beach. Also, the majority of eateries and restaurants are locally owned. 

Lane Bass, Pharm.D. ‘23, joined the Realo team right after graduating from the School and currently works as a staff pharmacist. He grew up in a small town in Northeastern North Carolina and always knew he wanted to return to the area. “Based in the heart of New Bern, working for Realo allows for the small town feel with some of the luxuries of a larger city. We serve an amazing group of patients with a mix of military families, retirees and locals. I love Eastern North Carolina, the patients I get to serve and the company that allows me the opportunity to return to an area I call home,” Bass said.  

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