A PRACTICE OVERVIEW
The O’Brien Pharmacy staff recognizes the value of utilizing teamwork, respect, comradery, and professionalism as they endeavor to process orders and make and deliver customized medications in order to enhance the lives of their global community.
A special recognition is well deserved for pharmacist Kristy Timmons. She has our longest running tenure of the staff, other than Lisa, having been at O’Brien Pharmacy since 1989 when she had just been accepted to UMKC School of Pharmacy. Harry and Lisa were taken with her from the beginning, as it was easy to see she was special. She’s done every job in the pharmacy, but has dedicated most of her time to compounding and is the Chief of Laboratory Operations. Learn more about Kristy and the rest of the O’Brien Pharmacy team by clicking this link.
A Family of Pharmacists
The lush foliage outside the building is a preview for what greets you inside: the O’Brien Pharmacy signature sage green walls, plants and flowers, beautiful pictures and statues, superior circulating air quality, and warm greetings from the staff. O’Brien Pharmacy is often described as giving those who enter “instant zen.” Inside the entrance of the building is a beautiful, antique, stained glass transom with the word “Pharmacy.” It immediately transports you back to a time when all pharmacies were small but mighty pillars of the community.
Behind the scenes sits The Lab. This is where compounding magic happens. With rooms for making sterile and non-sterile medications, packaging, and processing, the state-of-the-art, PCAB accredited laboratory is an impressive sight. Although the facility may be modern both in design and technology, the story of O’Brien Pharmacy started decades ago.
O’Brien Pharmacy has been owned by the same family for 60 years, and while they have Irish heritage, none of them are O’Briens! So what is the story behind our name and the people who make up O’Brien Pharmacy? Well, it all began with two pharmacists and a vision.
As a young man, Harry Everett served in the Navy, came home to the Kansas City area to marry his sweetheart, Sharon Dill, and became an entrepreneur. Back in the 1950s, Harry owned two bars/restaurants: The Hitching Post in Olathe and Harry’s Place in Mission, Kansas. Harry spent a significant amount of his time running both businesses and life was good. But having his first child, Lisa, changed Harry’s outlook. He decided it was time to get out of the restaurant business and went to school to become a pharmacist, graduating from the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) in 1960. By this time, the Everett family had grown with the birth of Eric.
As a pharmacy student, Harry worked at Leawood Pharmacy in Leawood, Kansas. This is where he met his future business partner, Henry C. O’Brien, who admired Harry’s mind, business prowess, and ethics. It has been rumored that young Henry was a rider on the famous Orphan Train before he was adopted by the O’Brien’s. But Mr. O’Brien’s experiences as a youth inspired him to become a pharmacist, a businessman, a husband to his wife, Hazel, and a father.
Mr. O’Brien and his silent partner, Mr. T.A. Link, were planning to open the country’s first pharmacy located in a medical building, acquiring a suite on a new campus across the street from St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. They wanted Harry to join them as a junior partner. So in 1962, Mr. O’Brien and Harry, with Hazel as bookkeeper and several pharmacists and technicians for staff, opened O’Brien Pharmacy.
The business quickly grew as it became not just locally but nationally recognized, appearing on the front cover of pharmacy journals. However, the dream became complicated just four years after opening the pharmacy, when Mr. O’Brien went into the hospital to have a simple goiter surgery. He unexpectedly died of complications while still in the recovery room. As Harry often did throughout his life, he forged forward. He bought out Mr. Link and Mrs. O’Brien, becoming the sole owner of O’Brien Pharmacy.
The Everett kids would often find themselves hanging out at the pharmacy with Dad. They might break up the day by walking a few blocks to the salon on The Plaza where Mom was an a hairdresser, but they grew up at O’Brien Pharmacy. In fact, customers who came into the pharmacy often saw a serious little red-headed girl, who when she wasn’t on the floor playing jacks, was alphabetizing the medicine bottles, dusting shelves, and organizing the vitamins.
Lisa Everett Andersen is still known by many as “the red-head.” She is one of those people who, from a very early age, just knew what she was destined to do. As a child, the medicine, the patients, the doctors, her father… everything about O’Brien Pharmacy fascinated her. Through her childhood and teenage years, she often helped out, learning to wait on customers, take inventory, write down orders for the pharmacists, and create invoices.
During high school, Lisa found chemistry and dove into it. She enjoyed performing at the Chiefs football games as a member of the Kansas City Chiefettes. After graduating, Lisa decided to attend her father’s alma matter, UMKC, where biochem and pharmacology were her favorite subjects. While in pharmacy school, she worked for other local pharmacies and for a hospital, but after graduating there was never any doubt where she would land. Lisa joined her father at O’Brien Pharmacy in the mid 1970s. Lisa’s brother, Eric, took a different career path, obtaining a degree in journalism. During this same time, the Everett family was blessed once more with the advent of little brother, Andrew John (Andy).
Before computers, a pharmacist wrote or typed the prescription label and any notes. But Harry had an eye for seeing beyond the walls of his apothecary, and was not afraid to venture into uncharted waters if he thought it would be of benefit for his patients and community. This thinking motivated Harry and Lisa to venture into the use of computer prototypes in order to keep detailed patient profiles and to increase efficiency and accuracy. O’Brien Pharmacy became the first computerized pharmacy in the country, as Lisa brought them up live for dispensing in 1976.
Harry was perpetually involving himself in ways to keep O’Brien Pharmacy and other independent pharmacies thriving in what was becoming a corporate world of medicine. He founded the Kansas City Chapter of the American College of Apothecaries, a professional organization setting higher standards for pharmacy practice. He later co-founded the Kansas City Buying Association for Independent Pharmacies.
Like his father, Eric began to second guess his new occupation. The pharmacy was growing, and Lisa knew she and her dad needed Eric on board. She convinced Eric to attend pharmacy school at UMKC. This turned out to be a brilliant decision, as Eric became not only a successful co-owner of the pharmacy but in 2002 was PCCA’s Compounding Pharmacist of the Year. (PCCA is a supplier of raw materials and equipment for compounders.)
As far back as the times of the Roman Empire, compounding medications wasn’t just common, it was what pharmacists did. Through the 1960s, 60-80% of dispensed medications were made for individuals by pharmacists. But Big Pharma established itself and mesmerized the world with their “one size fits all” drugs. Compounding pharmacies soon found themselves a specialty instead of the norm.
Before long, the big box and insurance mail order pharmacies came to be. Insurance companies were able to dictate via contracts what pharmacies could and couldn’t do, including the quality of compounding ingredients and patient care, affecting the day to day filling of prescriptions, how much the pharmacy would make on a dollar, and so much more. Many small pharmacies found themselves as cogs in the corporate machine and struggling financially, leading them to hang up the closed sign for good.
Harry, Lisa, and Eric believed in the art of compounding and the community ties O’Brien Pharmacy always had. One of the most difficult moves in this direction took effect in the early 90’s when they decided O’Brien Pharmacy would no longer accept insurance. It became clear, based on the unfair and non-negotiable contracts and poor pharmacy reimbursements, that taking insurance meant there was no time to provide all the different types of customer service O’Brien Pharmacy was known for, such as being a drug information center, collaborating with physicians, consulting with patients, providing delivery services, keeping updated patient records, etc., let alone the time, equipment, effort, and expertise needed to make quality compounded prescriptions and doctor’s office medications. Recognizing years ago that unlike the pharmacy, patients often do get reimbursed from their insurance companies, O’Brien Pharmacy has provided patients with the necessary paperwork and advice for obtaining possible insurance reimbursement.
Because the Everetts listened to the community, they knew their patients desired a shift into healthier lifestyles, taking fewer and more customized medications when needed. To that end, in the early 2000s it was decided that O’Brien Pharmacy would slowly move away from dispensing commercially made drugs to focus on compounding and nutritional supplements. It all goes back to knowing how to think outside the box when achieving what might seem impossible. O’Brien Pharmacy continued to incorporate the latest science and technology, and always gave old-fashioned, call-you-by-your-first-name customer service.
In the mid 1990s, Harry Everett retired. Lisa and Eric finished the buyout process and became co-owners of the pharmacy. The technology continued to grow, as did pharmaceutical regulations. Lisa more than once has said, “What once took one owner now requires two.”
The brother-sister team worked well together. Both Eric and Lisa acquired formal training in clinical nutrition and became Board Certified Clinical Nutritionists. However, Eric began to focus more on the laboratory development and drug studies while Lisa concentrated more on consulting with patients, often working with doctors to wean patients off of their medications, evaluating people for bio-identical hormone replacement, and giving nutritional advice. The nutritional / alternative medicine aspect now dominates half of the pharmacy’s business.
As a pharmacist, Lisa’s knowledge gave her a seat on the Midwest Internal Review Board for 10 years, where she oversaw more than 950 studies for the FDA, and she worked with Burroughs, Wellcome & Company to become one of the first pharmacies to care for HIV patients. She also become a board member of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) and the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN), and is now president of the IAACN.
The pharmacy expanded from a their smaller space in the medical plaza building to two pharmacies in the same complex in the early 1990s, one of which also functioned as a high-scale gift shop and had a small restaurant. After many successful years, they decided to close the gift shop and restaurant to make more room for specialty compounding equipment and nutritional supplements. However, that still wasn’t enough: O’Brien Pharmacy had outgrown its locations in the Medical Plaza. It was time for a change. So in 2006, the Everetts decided to buy their own building a few miles away. Due to continued need and regulations, they have remodeled and updated the “new” building several times.
Lisa began studying homeopathy right out of pharmacy school, and has used homeopathy on a regular basis to help patients. She is now receiving her formal training from the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. Lisa has published her first book about endocrinology, nutraceuticals, and toxins titled Learning to Thrive in a Toxic World and the Impact of Clinical Endocrinology and BHRT and is working on her second. She bought Eric’s half of the pharmacy in 2020, paving the way for his retirement. She continues to help those in need with her clinical and scientifically based consultation practice.
O’Brien Pharmacy is still one of the country’s premier compounding pharmacies, holding licenses in 38 states. Keeping with the O’Brien Pharmacy family tradition, Lisa’s daughter, Hollie Resseguie, is now a pharmacist and Chief of Pharmacy Operations and Eric’s nephew, Tyler Chamberlain, also a pharmacist, is Chief of Regulation and Compliance. Both have been stellar additions to the O’Brien Pharmacy Consulting Group and bring hope for yet another generation of dedicated service to our global community.
In 2002, after enjoying many years of retirement traveling around the country with Sharon, Harry passed away. Just down the hall from the antique Pharmacy transom hangs his picture. He’s smiling, of course, watching over all the action. His photo reminds us that pharmacies can still be trusted entities in the community and of how far we’ve come from a small suite on a medical campus to filling up an entire building. An old recipe box still resides in the pharmacy, holding some of the formulas and prescription labels Harry wrote out many years ago. We are again made aware that at O’Brien Pharmacy, family and old-fashioned dedication to our trade, our patients, and our practitioners are what makes us who we are and why we’re still here with joy and gratitude.
The Pharmacy Compounding Professional’s Code of Ethics: Responsibilities to One’s Patients, Self, Colleagues, and Profession
As a pharmacy compounding professional, I will: Uphold the triad relationship — patient, prescriber and pharmacist — as the foundation of pharmacy practice, acting in patients’ best interest by collaborating with patients, their caregivers, and other healthcare professionals to manage a patient’s treatment.
Comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Practice the art and science of pharmacy compounding with competence and integrity, assuring patient safety and the quality of compounds, maintaining accurate records, and utilizing the proper compounding facilities, equipment, and materials in compounding for the benefit of patients.
Recognize the limits of my own expertise, practice only if I am fit and competent to do so and refer to colleagues on issues beyond my knowledge and skill.
Continually improve the quality of my work by keeping my knowledge and skills up to date via continuing education that enhances my practice.
Assist my healthcare colleagues, sharing information and ideas both to serve the best interests of the patient and to enhance our individual skills.
Provide care to my patients without discriminating on the basis of age, race, color, nationality, religion, gender, or disability.
In instances in which I may have a conscientious objection to providing a compounded medication, ensure that patients are promptly referred to an alternate pharmacy compounding professional who will provide the prescribed medication to the patient.
Assure the credibility of the pharmacy compounding profession by avoiding conflicts of interest and not engaging in business practices that are detrimental to the patient, my colleagues, or my profession. Be an ambassador for pharmacy compounding, advancing my profession not only by demonstrating the highest ethical behavior but also by advocating for pharmacy compounding to patients, policymakers, news media, and others in my community.
Code of Ethics for Pharmacists
Pharmacists are health professionals who assist individuals in making the best use of medications. This Code, prepared and supported by pharmacists, is intended to state publicly the principles that form the fundamental basis of the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists. These principles, based on moral obligations and virtues, are established to guide pharmacists in relationships with patients, health professionals, and society.
A pharmacist respects the covenantal relationship between the patient and pharmacist. Considering the patient-pharmacist relationship as a covenant means that a pharmacist has moral obligations in response to the gift of trust received from society. In return for this gift, a pharmacist promises to help individuals achieve optimum benefit from their medications, to be committed to their welfare, and to maintain their trust.
A pharmacist promotes the good of every patient in a caring, compassionate, and confidential manner. A pharmacist places concern for the well-being of the patient at the center of professional practice. In doing so, a pharmacist considers needs stated by the patient as well as those defined by health science. A pharmacist is dedicated to protecting the dignity of the patient. With a caring attitude and a compassionate spirit, a pharmacist focuses on serving the patient in a private and confidential manner.
A pharmacist respects the autonomy and dignity of each patient. A pharmacist promotes the right of self-determination and recognizes individual self-worth by encouraging patients to participate in decisions about their health. A pharmacist communicates with patients in terms that are understandable. In all cases, a pharmacist respects personal and cultural differences among patients.
A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity in professional relationships. A pharmacist has a duty to tell the truth and to act with conviction of conscience. A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of these patients.
A pharmacist maintains professional competence. A pharmacist has a duty to maintain knowledge and abilities as new medications, devices and technologies become available and as health information advances.
A pharmacist respects the values and abilities of colleagues and other health professionals. When appropriate, a pharmacist asks for the consultation of colleagues or other health professionals or refers the patient. A pharmacist acknowledges that colleagues and other health professions may differ in the beliefs and values they apply to the care of the patient.
A pharmacist serves individual, community, and societal needs. The primary obligation of a pharmacist is to individual patients. However, the obligations of a pharmacist may at times extend beyond the individual to the community and society. In these situations, the pharmacist recognizes the responsibilities that accompany these obligations and acts accordingly.
A pharmacist seeks justice in the distribution of health resources. When health resources are allocated, a pharmacist is fair and equitable, balancing the needs of patients and society.
The O’Brien Pharmacy Difference
At O’Brien Pharmacy, we have but one passion: to serve our global community. We are dedicated to extraordinary and individualized patient care, providing innovative, well documented, and highest quality medication and holistic solutions for practitioners and patients alike. We promote optimal lifestyle and healing with clinical consultations and the art and science of compounding without compromise. It is with gratitude and our greatest pleasure that we accept our role as a trusted cornerstone in healthcare since 1962.
O’Brien Pharmacy is non-sterile and sterile PCAB accredited.
O’Brien Pharmacy is a FDA-inspected and FDA-compliant facility.