Penny and Aki Shah, pharmacist and owner of Tablet Pharmacy, with pharmacy technician Elizabeth.

Old school meets high-tech at Parksville pharmacy

Tablet Pharmacy earns customer, business accolades

While the technology at Parksville’s Tablet Pharmacy is state-of-the-art, their approach is decidedly old school.

Smaller by design than many other chain pharmacies – with no franchise fees to pass along to patients – the intent at the independent, locally owned compounding pharmacy is to create a more welcoming setting and personalized care.

“We are an old-school pharmacy, where the pharmacist knows their patients and patients know their pharmacist,” explains pharmacist Aki Shah, joined at the pharmacy by wife Penny, an architect who helped design the space, and pharmacy technician Elizabeth.

That relationship-building helps when people are ill, and allows for improved health and wellness overall.

When a patient recently experienced challenges with prescribed psoriasis medication, for example, Aki recognized a sensitivity to the ingredients and worked with their physician to create a custom compounding solution.

The road to Parksville

Before opening Tablet Pharmacy on Middleton Avenue last year, Aki spent time working as a relief pharmacist, which gave him and Penny the chance to visit communities across the province. With the birth of their daughter Aara, it was time to set down roots, and the two felt Parksville was the perfect place to both open a business and raise a family, Aki says.

Degrees in pharmacy and public health, paired with previous roles with a New Zealand apothecary and with Natural Cosmeceutics help inform the scope of Tablet Pharmacy’s offerings.

As a full-service pharmacy, contact them for flu and travel vaccinations, compounding and bio-identical/hormone replacement therapy. To keep things simple for patients, Tablet Pharmacy accepts all major insurance and Pharmacare, offers medication reviews and provides blister pack packaging to help you track medications.

Custom skin care

Beyond pharmaceutical compounding, Aki also provides custom skin care solutions based on the individual patient and their unique needs.

Treatment begins with a skin analysis and discussion of the patient’s goals, then a custom skincare or cosmeceutical product is compounded, such as a salve for rosacea, acne or anti-aging, he explains.

Philosophy resonates with patients

Although Tablet Pharmacy only opened their doors last March, the team was named the 2019 Small Business of the Year by the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce, recognized for their commitment to customer service. Their philosophy is also resonating with patients, who’ve given the Tablet team a five-star Google rating!

It all speaks to Aki’s passion for helping patients. “When our patients call, even when there’s no caller ID, we often recognize the voice,” he says with a smile. “I love being able to help people.”

To learn more, call Tablet Pharmacy at 250-947-9929, stop by at #4-154, Middleton Ave., or visit online at

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