The Village Pharmacy is a pharmacist-owned business based in Toronto. We are fully accredited by the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
The owner/pharmacist, Zahid Somani, is a University of Toronto graduate with 20 years of experience treating HIV.
Starting as a new University of Toronto Pharmacy graduate at a chain drugstore in the Church-Wellesley area of Toronto, Zahid remembers the very limited treatment options available to HIVers. “In 1994 the first triple-therapy cocktails were just coming out. Until then we only had AZT and patients would come in to the pharmacy with Kaposi lesions and need extremely high doses of antibiotics and antifungal drugs to fight off opportunistic infections. We used to lose patients every week….it was awful.”
“Today, I see my role as part education and part treatment access. Given the strides science has made in this field, the challenge now, is to make sure patients are on the least toxic and best-tolerated regimens. Also, given the complexities of private insurance, Trillium and ODSP, I use a lot of my time advocating for clients and making sure they can afford their meds. I try to accommodate their financial situation as much as possible.”
“I work together with patients, their physicians, AIDS Service Organizations such as ACT and PWA, community services such as Casey House and Fife House to make sure that patients can afford their meds and are able to tolerate them well enough to take them everyday, which is essential.
The Village Pharmacy Team
Zahid Somani RPh – Pharmacist & Owner
Paulette Villareal RPhT – Registered Pharmacy Technician & Dispensary Manager
Jerome Martinez – Pharmacy Assistant & Logistics Manager
Leah McInerney – Pharmacy Assistant & Community Manager