When Don Wiley found and purchased a medicine shop franchise in 1982, he had three location choices: Mt. Vernon, Chillicothe and Marion. He chose Marion. Don attended Pharmacy School at Mercer in Atlanta. Then he worked at an independent pharmacy for a few years before finding the franchise opportunity. “When we moved to Marion, we didn’t know a soul,” said Don.
“We bought a house and started a business all within six months. At the time I had two little girls. We started (them) in Pleasant Schools and all four girls graduated from Pleasant Schools.” The first day they were open, they filled one prescription. Their first week, they filled 35. “There were a lot of quiet days here for the first few years,” Don said, reminiscing. “For the first two years, we weren’t sure if we were going to make it. “Don describes himself as a “one-man band” as he did everything on his own at first, from filling the prescriptions, to answering the phones, and even sweeping the floors or cleaning the bathrooms.
A huge turning point for the business was when they began offering free screenings. Marion RX provided blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks and foot screenings with podiatrists. This introduced the business to some wonderful people who would later become some of their best customers. Next they offered pick up and delivery services, the first pharmacy in the area to do so.
Don worked tirelessly promoting the business by visiting doctors’ offices in person and handing them a list of services along with prescription note pads that had the pharmacy name, address and directions printed on them. This combination led to a substantial increase in business. As a result, the first employee was hired in 1984.
In 1986, the addition of computer technology changed the pharmacy business. Prescription labels which were once typed on a typewriter, could now be processed and easily edited with a computer. The new computer system cut the time of daily tasks in half, allowing more efficiency. Another attribute to their success was excellent customer service. Don insisted on kindness and respect from his employees. “We have to make them want to come back,” he explained. In 2002 the name changed from The Medicine Shoppe to Marion Prescription. “It might sound funny, but we had a little bit of trouble coming up with the name. We settled on Marion RX because it communicated professionalism and hometown. Marion is our home; we love that Marion is in our name.
A devastating call from police on Sept. 15th, 2013, informed Don that a motor home had crashed through the front door of their store. During cleanup and renovations, many thought they had gone out of business. Fortunately, a makeshift pharmacy in the back provided service to their customers and they reopened their brand new store Nov. 1st, only 45 days after the accident. Don looks back on 30 plus years of serving the Marion community where much has changed. The things that set Marion Prescription apart from others today is similar to what it was in 1982.
“It’s the little things,” Don explains. “A smile from the cashier, a pharmacist that remembers your name, Freddie delivering your medications for the last 28 years. Whichever side of town you are from, we will treat you with respect. We are Marion’s Pharmacy, but we want you to feel like we are your pharmacy.”
You can find Marion Pharmacy at
544 E. Center St., Marion, Ohio 44302
You can also reach them at 740-382-5746