Beacon pharmacies outshine big box stores

Published on Sunday, 13 August 2017 21:42
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - After 45 years in business, Beacon Prescriptions remains family-owned and focused on accommodating its patients through its services.

The pharmacy is an independent, family-owned business that has been open since 1972, with locations around the state, including two in Bristol and one in Terryville.

About three years ago, Cory Mascalo, who was born and raised in Bristol and now lives in Burlington, took ownership of the Collins Road location.

“We have won Best of Bristol six out of the last seven years,” Mascalo said, adding that the Best of Bristol encompasses both Beacon locations in Bristol and the one in Terryville.

“We are a smaller operation, so it’s more personal,” Tim Murawski, owner of the Terryville Beacon said.

“Our thing is customer service. In the age of big box stores, it’s hard for them to provide customer service. Our store is set up different, and patients have full access to pharmacists. We go out of our way to help customers with issues that big box stores can’t,” Murawski said.

The services offered and products sold at Beacon are what set them apart from other pharmacies and chains, and what helped them win the Best of Bristol, explained Mascalo, adding the pharmacy is “family-owned and operated.”

To keep up with the family-owned characteristic of Beacon, the pharmacy remains closed on Sundays, explained Mascalo.

“We want to provide our staff with a good quality home life. We’ve always been family owned since the beginning,” Mascalo said.

Beacon offers “specialty packaging of medication,” Mascalo explained, which means the pharmacy can pre-fill people’s medication boxes that are separated by day and time of day “for patients that have issues with compliance.”

“They take a lot of different medicines, so they have eight, nine or 10 bottles kicking around. We actually pre-fill all those pills into the medication boxes. I help make sure patients are taking all of their medications.”

Mascalo added that this service is offered at the two Beacons in Bristol and one Terryville, but there are “eight or nine around the state” that are all individual entities. Each Beacon is an independent pharmacy, “that happens to share a name with other independent pharmacies for buying power,” Mascalo said.

“We also offer compounding here,” Mascalo said, explaining that compounding medications is when the doctor will say a certain medications needs to be compounded with another or slightly varied for a specific patient.

“So we actually make the medication. None of the chains do that anymore,” Mascalo said. “We also deliver in an almost 10 miles radius and have patients in Bristol, Burlington, Farmington, Plainville and Terryville.”

The ability to bill Medicaid and Medicare for medical supplies is another service offered by Beacon that isn’t commonly seen, said Mascalo. “This helps bring people in.”

“We pretty much know all of our customers and are very well staffed compared to other pharmacies,” Mascalo said. “Our pharmacist to technician ratio is one-to-one.”

Mascolo said that a typical pharmacy will have one pharmacist and three technicians, but “we have four pharmacists here and typically three staffed at all times, which you never see in chains.”

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News, Terryville on Sunday, 13 August 2017 21:42. Updated: Sunday, 13 August 2017 21:45.