fi at’s It e 411 r About? Parisian Charm. Omelette & Champagne Breakfast. Beautiful Crepes. Afternoon Cocktails. Gallant Waiters. Delicious Quiche. Evening Romance. Continental Steaks. Mysterious Women. Famous Pastries. Cognac & Midnight Rendezvous. In short, it’s about everything a great European style restaurant is all about. h ic e &n ok s t Cafe 310 East 6th St. Austin, Texas ginnys ‘ COPYING SERVICE Copying Binding Printing Color Copying Graphics Word Processing Austin Lubbock Son Marcos .\\.V1 and Associates E 2306 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin, Texas 78703 REALTOR Representing all types of properties in Austin and Central Texas Interesting & unusual property a specialty 477-3651 BEHIND THE TARPON INN PORT ARANSAS OPEN DAILY Immediately following incorporation, the board of the co-op applied to the National Consumer Cooperative Bank was the only hope no private lending institution in San Antonio was willing to take the risk. Congress established the NCCB in 1978 and had to fight off attempts early in the Reagan administration to dissolve the bank. Under the original plan, the U.S. Treasury provided the initial capital for the NCCB and would share in the ownership with cooperative shareholders until the government investment was repaid. Under the Reagan administration, the government no longer puts up the capital. The Treasury’s stock was converted to debt and the NCCB was turned over to its private stockholders. To the good fortune of the Sunset Coop, the political maneuverings for the NCCB’s survival didn’t interfere with business. The co-op’s loan was approved by the NCCB in April of 1981. Of the total funded, $4,000 was immediately placed in NCCB stock, as required. In March of 1981, the Sunset Pharmacy Co-op hired a full-time pharmacist to set up the pharmacy. The first prescription was filled in March of 1981. Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio presided over the ribboncutting ceremonies on May 26, 1981. Gonzalez has been a strong supporter of the NCCB and was a vocal opponent of Reagan’s efforts to dissolve the bank. A couple of immediate problems faced the board. Under the Texas Pharmaceutical Act, a pharmacy must employ a full-time pharmacist, although having a half-time pharmacist would have saved the co-op several thousand dollars in initial costs. The pharmacy also had to wait for public awareness of the advantages of generic drugs. The co-op aimed to provide the consumer with high quality generic drugs at the actual wholesale cost, plus an administrative mark-up to cover expenses. The cost, the mark-up, and total are typed on each label to show how inexpensive generic drugs are. The co-op has found that it can compete in price with the chain-store pharmacies except on the big stores’ loss leaders. But the main education issue in 1984 is not generic versus name brand drugs; it is informing consumers of the advantages of becoming members of a pharmacy cooperative. When the Sunset Coop opened, the board assumed, without a marketing survey, that the major areas to be targeted would be senior citizens, social service agencies, and labor unions. It soon learned that the leaders of senior citizen organizations in San Antonio were not enthusiastic about the co-op. Organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons had their own plans to cover the pharmaceutical needs of members. Social service agencies with health clinics often have an in-house pharmacy and pharmacist funded by government sources. Few agencies want to forego such funds even if it would save the agency money. The hope of establishing strong ties with the unions in San Antonio has not yet been fulfilled. A special marketing program is needed to get the unions’ support, and production and delivery arrangements would need to be made. Union members on maintenance medication, for example, might bring their prescriptions to a central location periodically, where the co-op would pick them up, refill them, and return them the same day. The potential for working with labor is there. If the Sunset Co-op has been unsuccessful in attracting senior citizens’ groups, unions, and social service agencies, how has it managed to remain open for the past three years? Individual members’ prescription needs are not sufficient to keep the co-op alive. The major institutional support has been from local Catholic religious orders. The first to join were the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, followed by the Holy Ghost Sisters, Sisters of Divine Providence, and Sisters of St. Benedict. Three of these orders have large retirement and nursing homes in San Antonio with large numbers of sisters on maintenance medication. The religious orders were interested in the co-op for two reasons. The first was straight economics. The head nurse of each order brought a list of medications purchased weekly by the retirement and nursing homes, along with the quantity and price they were paying at that time. It was immediately apparent that even with the normal discounts the orders were receiving from their present pharmacies, the Sunset Co-op would save the orders several hundred dollars each month. The second reason had to do with the social conscience of the Sisters. The various orders of nuns have created an interreligious task force concerned with corporate responsibility. The purpose is to promote involvement in those corporations with a consumer and community conscience and to oppose publicly corporations insensitive to social and economic justice issues. In short, the cooperative philosophy was a natural 10 JUNE 15, 1984
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