LMN Pharmacy is considered Thomson’s one remaining independently owned pharmacy. McDuffie County native and pharmacist Linton Neal bought the business more than 20 years ago from its previous owner with whom he had worked.
LMN Pharmacy earned the unofficial distinction of being the community’s sole hometown pharmacy when the CVS chain corporation recently purchased Moye Pharmacy’s prescription department.
Along with LMN, CVS and Moye, Thomson’s other pharmacies include Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart.
“The Neals have been in Thomson for generations,” Neal said. Neal runs the pharmacy with his wife, pharmacy technician Carrie Neal, and pharmacy tech and office manager Debbie Burton.
“When you start using us you become our family,” he said. Neal commented that some of the youngsters he served at LMN years ago are now regular customers who have prescriptions filled for their children today.
Neal said he and his two-person team offer their customers “a personal touch” they might not get from large chain drugstores. He makes himself accessible 24 hours a day to counsel his customers, many of whom are senior citizens that depend on personalized care and Neal’s one-on-one expertise.
Neal said he also has established close relationships with physicians in Thomson/McDuffie County, especially when it relates to patient compliance.
Since March 20, Neal suspended in-person service to customers to protect them – and his staff – from the spread of COVID-19. He said the drive-thru only service would continue through June 1.
“We just want to be on the safe side,” Neal said. “We have a lot of elderly patients and I just can’t take the risk. Everyone has been very patient, very understanding.”
The hometown pharmacist said his business hasn’t experienced a lot of hardship over the years until the pandemic hit.
“We’ve never had anything like this,” he said.
Neal began his career as a pharmacist in 1984 after graduating from the University of Georgia. He decided to become a pharmacist after working as a pharmacy tech at a friend’s independent pharmacy in Warrenton years ago.
“I fell in love with it,” Neal said. “I love interacting with people.”
Neal, a father and grandfather with a wall adorned with photos of his grandchildren, says being an independently owned pharmacy in a small town is a blessing.
Pointing heavenward he said, “Everything we have here I give to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.