Nate Hux- Pickerington Pharmacy & Freedom Pharmacy- Episode 18


Nate Hux- The Problem With The System- Pickerington & Freedom Pharmacy

Hosts: Janis Francis and Michele Cook

Guest: Nate Hux, a pharmacist and entrepreneur

Key Points:

  1. Background and Career Shift: Nate Hux, initially a corporate pharmacist, shifted to an independent pharmacy. He bought Pickerington Pharmacy from Dale Schultz, aiming to focus more on patient care rather than corporate profits.
  2. Launching Freedom Pharmacy: In 2020, Nate launched Freedom Pharmacy, a separate entity from Pickerington Pharmacy, to offer medications at more affordable prices by bypassing insurance companies. This approach aimed to reduce administrative costs and focus on direct consumer transactions.
  3. Challenges and Decisions: Funding Freedom Pharmacy was challenging due to the unavailability of loans during COVID-19. Nate had to invest personal funds. He considers opening Freedom Pharmacy as his best business decision.
  4. Marketing Strategy: Nate’s effective marketing strategies include media relations and grassroots efforts. He emphasizes personal connections and community involvement over traditional advertising.
  5. Employee Satisfaction: Nate believes in creating a positive work environment and making employees feel part of the company’s success. He values employee feedback and aims to foster a culture where staff feel invested in patient care.
  6. Growth and Customer Base: Freedom Pharmacy caters to a wide range of customers, including self-employed individuals and seniors, especially those with high-deductible insurance plans. Nate foresees balanced growth between Pickerington and Freedom Pharmacy in the coming years.
  7. Compounding and Veterinary Services: Freedom Pharmacy offers compounding services, creating personalized medication forms and also caters to veterinary prescriptions, reflecting a growing segment in their business.
  8. Advice for Aspiring Pharmacists: Nate advises new graduates to minimize personal debt, giving them more career options and flexibility. He stresses the importance of financial prudence for aspiring entrepreneurs.
  9. Future Plans: Nate’s future goal is to train others in establishing similar business models, freeing them from reliance on the traditional healthcare payment system.
  10. Personal Insights: Nate enjoys downtime with activities like reading and playing strategy games. His approach to life is influenced by a philosophy that prioritizes family, faith, and meaningful work over material achievements.
  11. Contact Information: Nate does not engage in social media personally but can be reached through his pharmacies’ websites or directly at the Pickerington and Freedom Pharmacy locations.
Nate Hux Pickerington Pharmacy Pharmacist

Episode Links – Nate Hux

Pickerington Pharmacy
Freedom Pharmacy
The Real Anthony Fauci by Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Civilization 6
Brewdog Punk IPA

Freedom Pharmacy crew

Nate Hux
Janis Francis: Hey there, Cosmos enthusiasts and business buffs, you’re turned into another fun filled episode of Cosmos and Commerce. I’m Janis Francis, the gal from Remax Connection, Realtors, and the genius behind the Humble Crate Artisan Marketplace.
Michele Cook: Hello, everyone. It’s Michelle Cook here straight from Bodyache Escape Massage Center. Picture this. We are mixing cool business stories with a side of cocktail fun. It’s like a happy hour, but with a sprinkle of motivation on top.
Janis Francis: So speaking of motivation, today’s guest is the real deal. Ever heard of A pharmacy that cares about your health and your wallet. Straight out of Pickerington, Ohio, our guest today is doing just that.
Michele Cook: You’ve got it. From buying the awesome Pickerington Pharmacy to launching the super innovative Freedom Pharmacy. He’s the guy making meds both fab and affordable. So let’s get this party started and give a big cheer for the pharmacy. [00:01:00] Rockstar Nate Hux.
Janis Francis: Nate, welcome aboard. Buckle up, because we’re diving deep into your epic adventure.
Nate Hux: Thanks for having me.
Janis Francis: Oh, absolutely.
Michele Cook: Nate, can you tell us about your background in the history of Pickerington Pharmacy?
Nate Hux: Yeah. So I worked for the corporate pharmacy chains for about the first 18 years of my career. Became a little bit disenchanted with the environment at those places and came home one day and asked my wife, look, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing one year from today, but it’s not this.
I don’t know. We thought about it. I put my application out several places. And
then finally, I thought, why don’t I just do this on my own? I know what I’m doing. I have the confidence. I have the wisdom at this point in my career. I think I can do this without being part of a. a larger corporation.
I contacted [00:02:00] Dale Schultz, who owned Pickerington Pharmacy, had owned it for close to 30 years. And just sat down and had lunch with him one day. And initially it was just to talk about independent pharmacy and how to be successful. But during that lunch, it turned into more of a conversation about what about Pickerington it’s less than a mile from my house. I had a great reputation and so by the end of that conversation we had decided we would meet again. And then we met several times and eventually, we made the move that I purchased the pharmacy from Dale and it was January 4th of 2016
Janis Francis: Sixteen.
Nate Hux: And he’s still working at the pharmacy today as an employee but but that’s how the journey began in independent pharmacy.
So it’s been. Coming [00:03:00] up on eight years here that I’ve owned Pickerington Pharmacy.
Michele Cook: Awesome. So I’m fascinated by the business buying concept. Can you go more into details about how you decided to buy the business? Like how you figured out how much it was worth? What the process was like? Did you buy them out one lump sum? Did you make payments to him? Like how did that all work?
Nate Hux: tHat’s a really good question because it can be different in many situations. Dale preferred a complete buyout. That of course is more risky on the purchaser because that, my preference would have been a slow transition of ownership over time, but that isn’t what the seller wanted.
I You know, secured alone through the SBA. And it’s very difficult to value an existing pharmacy, [00:04:00] because you’re not really valuing the brick and mortar and the products on the shelf. You’re valuing what we call goodwill and having what we call a book of business, right? He already had established patients that are repeat patients that, so that was the most valuable piece of the business.
It wasn’t really the computer systems or the facility itself. It was his current
book of business, which takes years to get and maintain. So it’s very difficult to evaluate. But, we researched some formulas, we looked at old, tax returns from his business and we came up with a valuation and he and I came to an agreement then and the purchase was made
Michele Cook: Awesome. Did you use any professionals like accountants or I know there’s like business advisor type people that help you evaluate what a business is worth or did you guys [00:05:00] just figure it out yourselves?
Nate Hux: for the most part. We figured it out ourselves. We did have a person from 1 of the major wholesalers that sort of brokered the deal a little bit for us. And he did it for free. At the time, because he wanted to become my wholesaler, if that makes sense.
So he helped bridge the transaction between the two of us.
And so he helped us come to an idea of what the business is worth.
Michele Cook: Okay. Yeah. I always wondered how that would work when it comes time for me to sell my business. Okay. So in 2020, you started Freedom Pharmacy. Can you share with us the concept of this new pharmacy and why it is needed as a separate entity from Pickerington Pharmacy?
Nate Hux: Yeah. So my whole career in pharmacy, I feel like I’ve been [00:06:00] looking for patient freedom and professional freedom. Which I felt like I had early on in my career as corporations began to consolidate in the healthcare industry. began to consolidate both on the provider side and on the payer side. It became more of a cookie cutter industry.
No longer was the patient relationship really the focus of what you do on a day to day basis. It was how much money can you make for your corporation? How much money can your corporation get out of the third party payer? Those became the only important things in your day to day life at, where I was. And I really wanted the patient relationship to be the focus of everything. So that’s why I bought Pickerington Pharmacy in the first place. I [00:07:00] was a little naive to the fact that there is so much consolidation on the payer side that they’re very often unfair to the providers. There’s really only three four if you count a little bit smaller PBM, but a PBM is a Pharmacy Benefits Manager.
There’s really only four major Pharmacy Benefits Managers that control the
entire payment system inside what I call the system, right? They control payments. And I was noticing that they weren’t only hurting me in many cases, but they were actually hurting my customers as far as look, they’re, they’re getting charged a higher copay than I could offer at a fair price if I would just not use them, but the contracts say that if you have a contract with them and you have a patient that’s on the insurance, you must bill [00:08:00] them.
You have no choice., I know a lot of independent pharmacies just do it under the table. And I was doing the same thing at Pickerington pharmacy, where I would just say we’re going to avoid your insurance. it Became unwieldy to do that and it became difficult to track that. So what I decided to do was I’m going to separate. my patients that I’m working outside the system and I’m going to keep my patients that benefit from the system inside the system. And what happened was I created freedom pharmacy and moved those patients that would be, that would benefit. And I was able to actually give them an even better price. What a lot of people don’t understand is deal doing business with third party payers is extremely expensive for pharmacy.
There’s so many more layers of administration that have to be done. Claims that have to be chased down [00:09:00] contracts that have to be signed. You have to hire people to do your contracting. You have to pay people to essentially do all the insurance billing. My pharmacy technicians. Half of their job is billing people.
It’s not taking care of people. So getting all that out of the way was the concept behind Freedom Pharmacy. And just doing business directly with the consumer. And in many cases that benefits both the consumer and the pharmacy.
Michele Cook: Yeah.
Nate Hux: So why are we letting these guys get in the way of our relationship at the expense of. Your higher payments and my less profit, let’s just do business directly and cut these guys out. And that’s the concept behind freedom pharmacy. And that’s why I opened it. I also, I always had a passion for compounding and we do a lot of [00:10:00] compounding at freedom pharmacy as well.
Michele Cook: Oh, nice. So if you took both, if you evaluated both which one is bigger for you now? Has more patients?
Nate Hux: Pickerington still is the majority. Um, So it’s about, it’s about. Um, wIth,
Michele Cook: it flipped.
Janis Francis: it’s still new.
Nate Hux: so pharmacy, like any healthcare is a long, it is a very long journey. It’s not like opening a restaurant, go getting prescription drugs or having a pharmacy is not anything that’s exciting or, it’s something that for most people is just a chore that they have to do.
And a lot of times they’re just in whatever habit they’re in. So it takes a long time to get the word out, to get people [00:11:00] in, to get people comfortable. Even if they’re being abused at another pharmacy, they know what they know. They know the systems they know, it’s. On their way home. They know the business hours that, the unknown is sometimes detrimental to growing something inside of healthcare.
But freedom pharmacy is growing and it continues to grow at a nice steady pace right now. So it’s super exciting. I would expect it to be 50, 50 within two years, maybe three.
Michele Cook: Oh, I can’t wait
Janis Francis: I’m a customer there and I refer at every chance I get.
Nate Hux: Thanks Janice.
Janis Francis: You’re welcome.
Okay. Can you share some particularly challenging moment in your entrepreneurial journey and how you overcame it?
Nate Hux: So when building freedom pharmacy, I could not get a loan from the banks. COVID had just recently [00:12:00] hit. The banks were not lending money to anyone. evEn my current bank that I had my current loan for, from
Pickerington pharmacy wouldn’t do it. I looked into two other banks. Couldn’t, nobody was lending money at the time. We had to put in our own investment essentially completely into, to Freedom Pharmacy, which. It’s very hard, very stressful. But we got through it and we’re over the hump at this point. So that was definitely, from a business perspective, the most challenging thing. I had already set things in motion with the idea that alone with was forthcoming and wouldn’t, the pandemic hit right when I was about to secure that loan.
But I already had construction people in there and I already had things in motion.
Janis Francis: You had to make it work.
Nate Hux: So we made it work,
Janis Francis: Yeah.[00:13:00]
Nate Hux: wIthout the the assistance of getting a loan from a bank.
Michele Cook: Wow.
Nate Hux: So that was super
Janis Francis: Very stressful. So what is the best decision you’ve ever made for your business?
Nate Hux: Opening Freedom Pharmacy.
Michele Cook: Okay. What are some of the things you learned in having to fund that yourself?
Nate Hux: Everything takes longer than expected and is more expensive than expected.
Michele Cook: Yeah, I’m learning that too in our build out.
Janis Francis: Yeah.
Michele Cook: I was like, 12, 000 for space heaters on the wall. What?
Nate Hux: Yeah.
Michele Cook: Yeah.
Nate Hux: Yeah. The initial estimate was, Almost half of what I ended up paying
Michele Cook: Oh
Nate Hux: For getting that place up and running.
Michele Cook: my gosh. Okay, we’re going to switch into business strategies. Marketing a pharmacy is likely quite different from other businesses. What has been your [00:14:00] most successful marketing strategy?
Nate Hux: I guess my media connections doing things like this I’ve had the dispatch, the Columbus dispatch in, I’ve had the today show from NBC news. And I’ve had the Capitol. Ohio Capital Journal was in the Lancaster Journal Gazette was in. So my relationship with various media outlets who are very, always very interested in reporting on things that can help consumers. Though that has probably been my biggest. area of success as far as marketing the pharmacy. We’ve tried lots of different things. We still are hanging door hangers, feet boots on the pavement, right? Marketing freedom pharmacy, especially. We go to various events. We’ll be at Trunk or Treat and Pickerington here.
At the end of the month We we do a little bit of advertising [00:15:00] traditionally in magazines and such, but I, I find that like the grassroots stuff is probably the most effective marketing, even though it’s time consuming, but just getting out and being in front of people.
Janis Francis: more of a personal touch,
Nate Hux: Right,
Janis Francis: which is what your goal is, for your business anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Love it.
Michele Cook: Yeah. Yeah. When people know you and they like you, they want to give you their business.
Nate Hux: That’s right.
Michele Cook: Yeah. Employee satisfaction is pivotal in any service based business. What is your best advice for keeping employees motivated and reducing turnover?
Nate Hux: Create a good environment for them to work in. Make it a successful environment for not just yourself, but for them. They need to feel part of the success of the overall goals of the company. As long as [00:16:00] they’re plugged in and they understand we’re different than our competitors. We do things a certain way.
We have a certain culture and give them voice. Listen to what they have to say.
Michele Cook: Yeah, that’s
Janis Francis: Makes them more excited to be there.
Nate Hux: Exactly.
Michele Cook: Would you say? Can you give me like one story about something you did for your employees? You were talking about goals, make them feel successful when the business is successful. Can you just give me an example of something you’ve done that has helped that?
Nate Hux: iN particular I can’t think of one particular thing, only that when they’re making people happy, it makes them happy. And, I, it, again it’s a culture thing. They care about making people happy. They care about helping people. But in particular, I don’t know that there’s one thing. [00:17:00] I try to get, give them positive feedback.
Every time I see something that happens, that, that was a really good thing. And just trying to help give them an opportunity to make people happy, uh, is the thing that I try to do the most. But they feel energized. They feel part of something bigger. Then just punching a time clock and getting paid. I’m sorry. I don’t have a really good one thing that we do. It’s just an overall culture thing.
Michele Cook: Yeah. Yeah, that’s great.
Janis Francis: so Nate, I’m a customer of yours and also I was self pay for actually over 20 years as a self employed person. And as pharmaceuticals get more and more expensive. Do you see a trend of more self employed and maybe even seniors coming to freedom pharmacy?
Nate Hux: Absolutely. That is that you just touched on [00:18:00] 90 percent of the customer base there. Believe it or not, over half of the people that use Freedom Pharmacy have some sort of insurance. It’s not just uninsured people that benefit from Freedom Pharmacy. In many cases, it’s the people that do own small businesses that have high deductible plans that, get nickel and dimed to death.
If they try to process things through the system we can offer a way better pricing. Again, when you’re inside the system, things for the pharmacy are very much more expensive. Then outside the system. So we need to charge more for what we do at Pickerington pharmacy. If we can eliminate all that overhead and just do business directly with individuals, we can lower the prices.
And when [00:19:00] we lower the prices, they benefit because if you have a high deductible plan, you’re paying cash price anyway, for the first 8, whatever your high deductible plan is. And really, all of these pharmaceutical things, if you have to hit your deductible, you got bigger problems than, paying 100 or 200 a month for a medicine just use Freedom Pharmacy and something that would be 150 a month at Pickerington Pharmacy, we could sell for 15.
Michele Cook: Totally.
Nate Hux: at least you still have your, you’re not going to go bankrupt if you have your high deductible plan. Yeah, it’s going to hurt to pay 10 grand, but that’s what I try to tell. That’s what I counsel people. If they’re asking me what kind of insurance should I do? I say the least expensive, high deductible plan.
So you don’t go bankrupt if something really bad happens, but you don’t [00:20:00] expect everything to be free. Nothing’s free.
Business owners are more and more picking plans that are high deductible because they’re lower cost. They can’t afford quote unquote Cadillac insurance that government employees have.
So most of the people that use Freedom Pharmacy do have some form of
insurance. They just have insurance that doesn’t really pay for anything significant at the pharmacy until they hit a certain level of out of pocket expense. And those are the people I serve the most.
Michele Cook: can someone with a high deductible plan, can they still use their health savings account to pay for their deductible?
Nate Hux: Absolutely. HSA accounts are a great way for a great tool for small business owners to avoid. Having to, I try to tell small business owners, look, [00:21:00] load 2, 000 on an HSA account for your employees and give them that 10, 000, you know, deductible plan and, your healthier people are never going to go over that 2, 000.
And if you have an unhealthy, an unfortunate situation where one of your employees gets really sick and, has a long hospital stay or whatever, they’re not going to go bankrupt. They’re going to have to, pay the difference between the, that, to me, that’s the sweet spot when you’re talking about insurance and those people are perfect for freedom pharmacy. You can still use your HSA dollars towards those, the least, it’s less expensive than running it through the system. And those dollars can still be utilized by the patient for that, however much the employer wants to load on that plan.
Janis Francis: [00:22:00] Okay. You mentioned compound drugs. Can you explain a little bit what that is?
Nate Hux: So essentially you’re taking active ingredients and putting them in, mixing them with inactive ingredients to make new dosage forms. So for instance, if you have a paint like a neuropathy of some kind, we can put Chemicals like gabapentin or ketamine or amitriptyline into a cream that then you can rub lidocaine is another ingredient for such a cream so we can mix that and then we can tailor those specific percentages of those active ingredients to something that works for you.
So the beauty of compounding is. If you try something and it maybe works well, but not well enough, you can tweak the formula. So that’s just an example. But we do, capsules, we do creams liquids. different [00:23:00] dosage forms. And a lot of times we make things in one dosage form that aren’t available commercially as another dosage form.
For instance, if there’s only tablets available and no liquids, you got a patient
that can’t swallow pills. , we can make A suspension out of something that’s typically only available in a tablet form.
Janis Francis: I love that because I have a problem taking pills sometimes. I don’t take a bunch of pills, but vitamins are like so huge. So that was one of the other questions topical or whatever. I saw one of your posts the other day about that and that was interesting. So you guys also fill prescriptions for pet medications.
Nate Hux: Yeah. We actually, yeah, we have a lot of vet patients. Again, Freedom Pharmacy fits perfectly in that space because there is no [00:24:00] insurance for animals typically. There, there are people that have pet insurance, but they get reimbursed. They just pay for it directly and then they get reimbursed, which by the way for insurance to happen than the system that we have.
But that’s a whole nother story. But the vet space is growing very rapidly for us. A lot of pets take human medicines. I don’t know if you knew that or not, but There’s a lot of medicines that cross over from humans to dogs and cats and whatnot. And then we also have access to a line of prescription pet medicines too.
So we can fill prescription medications. We can purchase those and sell them to patients as well.
Janis Francis: I take the same glucosamine that I give my dog.
Nate Hux: Yeah,
Michele Cook: yeah, my poor dog is on Prozac. She’s a nervous Nelly.
Nate Hux: so is mine.[00:25:00]
Janis Francis: my gosh. So Nate, what advice would you give a recent graduate from pharmaceutical college on getting into your business field?
Nate Hux: I try to tell people the most important thing you can do Is stay out of
debt as much as possible. Stay out of personal debt because it gives you options. So I talk about the golden handcuffs a lot, don’t put on the golden handcuffs. These kids are graduating with. 200, 000 of student loan debt.
And then they go, buy a 60, 000 car and then they get a half a million dollar house and before you know it, they’re well over a million dollars in debt and. They have to get a job that can pay for all that debt. So my biggest advice, and this probably is any entrepreneur stay out of personal debt.[00:26:00]
That’s the most important thing you can do because you have options. If my wife and I hadn’t been very, you know, we were savers and we always lived within our means. I could have never bought the pharmacy. It would have never happened. , and you don’t have to be ridiculous about it.
We lived a comfortable life and we didn’t want for anything, but we didn’t go crazy. We didn’t have to buy the biggest house. We didn’t have to have the best cars. We didn’t have to, we were both very, conscious about paying off our student debt as soon as we possibly could. And we did that within two years of graduating from college.
It gave us options when the time came
Janis Francis: No
Nate Hux: To make the move. So that’s my biggest piece of advice, really not just in far pharmacy. But for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur,
Michele Cook: Yeah. I totally agree with you. I just got a big, huge business loan [00:27:00] myself and it, had I been in personal debt, they wouldn’t have gone through, but it also, I just want to add another layer to that is if you can buy assets to add onto your personal statement, that helps with that collateral, having the
Nate Hux: absolutely.
Michele Cook: Yeah.
Janis Francis: So if you could recommend one habit for aspiring entrepreneurs to develop one habit, what would that be?
Nate Hux: You know that I think the habit that I developed that’s helped me the most is I get out of bed every morning and I go to work. I mean, I, there are no sluggish mornings for me, even on my days off. I get up and I start working. I know that sounds crazy, but I for instance I woke up early Sunday morning and go to [00:28:00] church was at nine and it was like 6 30.
So I, fixed a few things around the house that needed fixing before, before I went to church. Stuff like that. And then that gives you for the rest of the day, a sense of accomplishment, no matter what happens the rest of the day, even if you’re done by noon and you give yourself a half day of relaxation and doing whatever you want, you’ve accomplished something for the day.
So that’s the best habit I would give, or, the thing that I would. Say get up and get moving, get stuff done. That’s for me personally, the most important habit that I’ve gained being an entrepreneur.
Michele Cook: Yeah. That’s perfect. Are there any upcoming initiatives or expansions in the pipeline for Freedom Pharmacy that you want to share with the listeners?
Nate Hux: So not for Freedom Pharmacy in particular. One of the things I want to do at some point is train people to do what I’m doing.[00:29:00] I don’t want to own anything else. But I want to help people transition. I want help to help people take off the shackles that currently tie us to the system that is the broken healthcare system in the United States.
I want to train people how to free themselves. Of this. So I don’t have any expansion plans. The thing I need to do is prove the business model. So we’re in the process of doing that first. My wife’s wanted me to do this for years, but I keep saying we need to prove it first. People need to know it’s going to be successful.
I have to make it successful, we have to get through all the, again, all the loans and get all that taken care of. And then, understanding that there is a business model where you can make a [00:30:00] living helping people. You don’t have to be shackled to the system. We have to prove that relationships matter to patients.
Janis Francis: Yeah.
Nate Hux: we’re in the process of making that proof. So I don’t have any expansion plans for Freedom Pharmacy proper, but that would be a goal of mine for the future.
Michele Cook: So do you see that going to other independent pharmacies and like teaching them how to do what you did? Is that what you mean?
Janis Francis: Yeah. Probably a lot of people are thinking the same way that you are. They just don’t know how to get started and you could do seminars or for, to teach everybody how to do that.
Michele Cook: Yeah.
Nate Hux: That would be, it’s not rocket science. It just takes a lot of guts
Janis Francis: Yeah.
Nate Hux: and a lot of thinking outside the
Janis Francis: Out of the box. Yeah.
Michele Cook: Yeah. And if you already have the [00:31:00] systems in place, I’m sure somebody would be willing to pay for that just to get your systems so they don’t have to recreate the wheel.
Janis Francis: Yeah.
Michele Cook: So I, AI is all the rage right now with the rise of technology and healthcare, how do you see it impacting the operations and services of Freedom Pharmacy?
Nate Hux: So this is a really interesting question because I think, What you have to do is look at the patients and what they want. Do they want to interact with robots or do they want to interact with people? And some may choose robots and others will choose people. I don’t know, I don’t know exactly how that’s all going to work. But, of course, you can program a robot , have all the pharmaceutical knowledge that ever was. on the planet and they would know everything [00:32:00] but will they ever be able to be as personalized as we can be? Maybe not in our lifetime. Who knows? I don’t know. But I think, I don’t
have any plans necessarily to use any AI.
I am relying on patient relationships as being the best commodity that we have. And I don’t think most people want to interact with the robot. I don’t yeah, they, they maybe, like I say, have the database. Of all the pharmaceutical knowledge, but can they make decisions that are in the gray area?
Can they really express to people what the risks and benefits of taking this chemical may be
Janis Francis: Right.
Nate Hux: an in depth, like more personal conversation or are they just, or do people just want knowledge and then they need to figure it out themselves, so that I think that’s a big question in [00:33:00] all of our lives these days.
Yeah. I think everything’s become so much more transactional and very impersonal, but I think AI just makes it less and less personal. So I have no plans to implement any AI unless it helps us. And we do use technology that makes us more accurate and gives us more information. But it’s just, those are just tools.
They, I don’t think that they ever take over what we do because what we do isn’t just spitting out information
Janis Francis: I think everybody loves a friendly smiling face, when you walk in. I don’t know. That’s me personally. I like the personal touch
Michele Cook: Oh, yeah.
Janis Francis: personally. So Nate, what do you do in your downtime?
Nate Hux: as little as possible. I I do enjoy reading. I read a lot of fiction. I [00:34:00] I do like strategy. Video games that I don’t have, I don’t interact with anyone. I just do them on my own. so I like, it’s like putting together a puzzle for some people, but I enjoy those types of video games.
I’m the type of person that likes to completely sever myself from the world for a small amount of time and that recharges my batteries. sO I like serenity, and
that’s my wife and I balance each other out a lot because she’s an extrovert and she loves doing everything and so we balance each other out very well though.
So she, she drags me along and I’m always happy. I go, but sometimes I get her to Hey, let’s just have, let’s have half a day where we can just.
Janis Francis: Yeah,
Nate Hux: That’s my downtime.
Janis Francis: Okay. What is your favorite quote?[00:35:00]
Nate Hux: So my, the one I use the most, it’s funny, favorite quote doesn’t necessarily mean it’s one I like the most, but somebody said something to me when I was an intern, a pharmacy intern that has stuck with me and has never rung more true. She told me. He who pays the bills makes the rules and you know what? There has never been anything that is more true than that. We like to think we’re in charge of our own healthcare, but if you want someone else to pay for it, you’re not really in charge. That’s the honest to God’s truth. So he who pays the bills makes the rules. And at the time it was because some insurance wouldn’t cover. [00:36:00] One of the new, very expensive medicines and the customer was complaining. I was complaining about it and I was like, ah, this should, this is an injustice. This should be covered and then she looked at me and just deadpan said he who pays the bills makes the rules and I’m like, Nothing has been more true. So that is, that’s not a quote you’ve ever heard from, anybody famous, but but that is the quote that has stuck with me my whole career and has never run more true than today.
Janis Francis: I’ll remember it now, after today,
Nate Hux: Yeah.
Michele Cook: I’ve heard he who has the gold makes the rules. So it’s not too far off from that.
Nate Hux: Yeah.
Janis Francis: write out the same thing. Nate, what motivates you? I
Nate Hux: Getting out, getting up, doing something that I love. and making a living doing it. [00:37:00] That’s what motivates me. Helping people and making a living, helping people. It’s as simple as that for me.
Janis Francis: love that. I love that answer. Alright, Nate, after hearing about your inspiring journey with Pickerington Pharmacy and Freedom Pharmacy, let’s have some fun. We’re going to ask you some quick questions, and we want to hear your first thoughts. You ready to give it a go?
Nate Hux: I’m ready.
Michele Cook: What is the book you’ve most given as a gift or the book that made the biggest impact on you?
Nate Hux: There’s a book called the real Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, big pharma, and the global war on democracy and public health. Okay. This was a book written by Robert Kennedy, Jr. Who I didn’t pay any attention to prior to this book. I didn’t even know who he was really. I knew he existed, but the book really, I [00:38:00] give that book to as many people as we’ll take it.
But what it does for me is it reposition science, how it’s supposed to be. Science should be questioning things. Science should not be a religion. And what we have currently United States, I feel is almost like a religion when it comes to health care. It’s a top down system where nothing should ever be questioned. And anybody that questions the, the dogma is a heretic and Robert Kennedy jr. Even though I may not agree with everything he says in the book has the courage to at least say this is wrong. And we have allow our brains to be turned [00:39:00] off. And we have essentially become robots that can be replaced by AI.
I love the book. It changed the way my whole outlook is on healthcare. It put a lot of pieces together for me that were fragmented and it connected the dots very well for figuring out why we are in the situation that we’re in. In today’s health care in the United States.
Janis Francis: So Nate, do you have an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Nate Hux: I already spoiled that, but I play civilization six, like way too much.
Janis Francis: The video games.
Nate Hux: it’s a game that is, a strategy game and it’s just you against the computer. And it’s very difficult. I play it on a very difficult setting. And I almost lose all the time, but I that’s what I love.
That’s what I like to do. I know that sounds like such a waste of time, but it gives me a problem. I love [00:40:00] solving problems. And that, that whole thing is solving problem. That’s my absurd obsession.
Janis Francis: That’s
Michele Cook: Sounds like you’re a glutton for punishment.
Nate Hux: Yeah.
Michele Cook: What is your proudest accomplishment?
Nate Hux: Opening freedom pharmacy.
Michele Cook: Nice.
Janis Francis: Yeah. So what is a purchase of 100 or less that’s most positive, positively impacted your life?
Nate Hux: I would have to say that book that I just mentioned,
Janis Francis: Yeah, I wondered.
Nate Hux: the, I don’t, first of all, I don’t buy anything I just, I don’t buy anything really. If I do, it’s usually way more than a hundred dollars . So I if it’s less than a hundred dollars, I usually wait until my birthday or Christmas.
So somebody has something to buy me. I Don’t personally make a lot of 100 or less purchases but I would say that book
Janis Francis: So what is your [00:41:00] current passion project?
Nate Hux: making Freedom Pharmacy sustainable and repeatable
Michele Cook: What is one skill you would like to master? Okay.
Nate Hux: public speaking.
Janis Francis: Yeah, that’s a good one. Do you believe in the power of manifestation?
Nate Hux: I do. I think if you have a concept that you believe to be right, you can work through again, it’s problem solving. You have to have an imagination. You have to be able to think outside the box and then try to take that and make something tangible out of it. I have 100 percent believe in the power of manifestation, but it’s difficult. It’s not easy. Ideas are easy,
Janis Francis: Yeah,
Nate Hux: but manifestation’s [00:42:00] difficult. Bringing it to reality.
Michele Cook: Yeah. I have a feeling you’re going to manifest yourself on some big stages
Nate Hux: Probably not.
Janis Francis: public speaking.
Nate Hux: You have more faith in me than I do.
Michele Cook: what was your very first job?
Nate Hux: I was a lifeguard at 14 years old.
Michele Cook: Oh, wow. Did you ever have to save anybody?
Nate Hux: A couple, I don’t know that I saved them, but they were in distress. I don’t know if they would have made it or not.
Michele Cook: Yeah, you saved it.
Nate Hux: don’t know. They might have made it. I don’t know.
Janis Francis: they were glad you’re there. They still think about it.
Nate Hux: Yeah, maybe.
Janis Francis: Nate, where do you see yourself in five years?
Nate Hux: Still being at Pickerington and Freedom Pharmacy, still helping the community. Hopefully spreading the word about, what I’m doing at Freedom [00:43:00] Pharmacy and helping others. To be able to make that transition.
Michele Cook: What is your pump up song?
Nate Hux: Huh, it’s funny because I’m the type of person that’s typically the opposite. I don’t need a pump up song. I’m usually too, I’m usually too wired. So I usually,
Janis Francis: Maybe we need a down song.
Nate Hux: exactly. So for myself. I don’t really need anything to pump me up. But a lot of times I need something to calm me down. I listened to a lot of country music. I would say, a song that like re centers your. Sort of perception on life and what’s important and what’s not important. So I guess I don’t have a great answer other than I like songs that remind you of what’s important in life instead of, worrying about things that there, there are [00:44:00] things that are way more important than money or accomplishment or anything like that. Family. And faith and those types of things are way above any other things. So those types of songs are the songs I like to listen to, to recenter me into saying, okay, you’re, you got to remember you have everything, you have so many blessings in your life. focusing on the negatives. Focus on the positives.
Michele Cook: I can see why you would listen to a lot of country music then. I’m thinking of that live like you were dying
Nate Hux: you’re right. Those types of songs. I love those things.
Michele Cook: Yeah,
Janis Francis: nice. So we are called Cosmos and Commerce. whAt is your drink of choice?
Nate Hux: That’s an easy one. Punk IPA from BrewDog.
Janis Francis: Oh, okay.
Nate Hux: I’ll be that specific. That is, that’s my favorite [00:45:00] beer and it’s not close.

Nate Hux: There’s not a close second though. It is my favorite beer and I can only drink about two of them and that’s enough. But cause, they’re a little stronger, but but that’s my favorite drink if I have to choose a drink
Michele Cook: Now I know what to get you for your birthday.
Janis Francis: under 100.
Nate Hux: that’d be a good birthday present. No,
Janis Francis: okay, Nate, where can our listeners find you?
Nate Hux: They can find me at 641 Hill Road North. That’s where Pickerington and Freedom Pharmacy is located. Stop in anytime Monday through Friday, 830 to 630. We’re open 830 to one on Saturday. Call us anytime. I personally don’t participate in any social media whatsoever, so you’ll never find me on social media.
You can contact us through our Facebook page on either pharmacy. And I will get back, I will get to you through that contact, [00:46:00] but I prefer doing face to face conversations with people, phone calls. I’m a little old school that way. My my wife and my office manager essentially run all the social media stuff.
But they’ll get you in contact with me if you
Janis Francis: answered me right away.
Nate Hux: Yeah, but I don’t, it’s too much noise for me to participate in social media.
Janis Francis: You’ve got 2 capable people that are helping you out in that field. So you’re doing all right.
Nate Hux: Yeah, true.
Michele Cook: What’s the website?
Nate Hux: So Pickeringtonpharmacy. and then our Freedom Pharmacy is freedom. pharmacy. oh. com or Yeah, dot com. Yeah. So just Google Freedom Pharmacy Pickerington or Google Pickerington Pharmacy and we’ll be the first one.
Janis Francis: it pops right up.
Nate Hux: [00:47:00] Yeah.
Michele Cook: good.
Janis Francis: Okay. And that wraps up another brilliant episode of Cosmos and Commerce. Nate, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you with us. Your advice and journey are truly inspiring.
Nate Hux: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure being with you guys today. I appreciate the opportunity.
Janis Francis: Absolutely.
Michele Cook: Thank you, Nate. And hey, Janice, I think I might pop by Freedom Pharmacy next time I’m in Pickerington. Who knew the world of pharmacy could be so riveting.
Janis Francis: Every episode I learned something new and speaking of learning, I’ve got a new cocktail recipe I want to try out. Maybe at our next recording.
Michele Cook: You’re on, but only if I get to pick the next guest deal.
Janis Francis: Deal. And to all our listeners out there, if you enjoyed this episode as much as we did, please share it with your friends. Let’s spread the knowledge and inspiration.
Michele Cook: And don’t forget to tune [00:48:00] in next time for more exciting stories. And of course, the splash of cocktail fun until then stay curious and keep exploring the cosmos of commerce.
Janis Francis: All right.
Michele Cook: Thank you
Janis Francis: Thanks, Nate.
Nate Hux: Oh, thanks for having me.

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