By Pavan | Published Thursday 14 November 2019
Cloud Pharmacy, it sounds hip, techy, and fresh; a modern-day name for a modern-day pharmacy. Often people ask, "why did we choose the name Cloud Pharmacy"? To be fair, what do clouds have to do with pharmacy anyways?
Well one the reasons we branded ourselves with this watery mark is to pay homage to the beautiful city where the first Cloud Pharmacy was formed, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on November 27, 2012. Located at 4918 Victoria Drive, we have served the local community for almost a decade. We also help thousands of patients from all over the world. Many of our patients online take comfort in the fact that we are an actual brick and mortar pharmacy that only, and always, ships medications directly from our pharmacy in Vancouver, Canada. You will never receive any medication from our pharmacy that is shipped from Turkey, India, Singapore, Mauritius, or anywhere except Canada. Whether you are from the USA, Australia, or anywhere for that matter your tracking number will always show picked up in Vancouver. Now if you are lucky enough like some of our neighbors from Washington state, you can drive into Vancouver from the US border, which takes less than an hour and pick up your medication directly from our store in store and come see, arguably, the most beautiful city in the world. By the way, we constantly like to remind foreigners that we live in the most beautiful city in the world, see below:
You may even hear a local exclaim that, “you can go skiing in the morning and play golf after lunch”. Settled between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean it does portray as a picture perfect city.
Now as a pharmacist, who are often rated as the most trusted profession, and as a born and raised Vancouverite, I have to disclose a dirty, err or should I say wet, little, err big, secret…
…normally, Vancouver actually looks like this:
Yes it rains here, a lot, like really a lot. Like our American sister city, Seattle, it rains buckets, and is generally cloudy. In fact, Vancouver, is the second most cloudy city in all of Canada, at 5132 hours of cloud cover, on average, per year. Yes, for more than 60% of the year, little to no sun, and lots of rain. Even though we have to drink a Vitamin D smoothie here and there, we don’t complain for two reasons. Firstly, because it barely snows here (a sore point for the rest of Canada), some years not even a flake. The second reason we don’t complain is, did we tell you that we live in the most beautiful city in the world? See, look at this, so pretty:
So that one of the reasons we are called Cloud, to be honest with ourselves, and proud that we live in the most Beautiful, but usually Cloudy, and very Rainy city in the world.
Whether we like or not, Clouds are a part of life, good and bad; it’s just real life. That brings us to our second reason we use the Cloud to represent us. To better understand this point, we need to understand a few other famous symbols in medicine and pharmacy. The caduceus is one such symbol used in North America. The Caduceus consists of the staph of Hermes and two intertwined serpents, with two wings atop. This symbol popularly became associated with medicine because the US Army Medical Corp introduced it into their insignia in 1902. However, it has nothing to do with medicine at all. It was a symbol used in commerce in ancient Greece and Rome; and for some other mythology stuff that has nothing to do with anything we are talking about.
Except that, like the US Army Corp, most people mistakenly associate or substitute the Rod of Asclepius with the Caduceus, where the former is single staph with a single snake twisting around it' the latter a single serpent twisting around the staph of Greek god, Asclepius, who was in fact the deity of medicine and healing. In ancient Greece healing temples attributed to this god would have, in his name sake, Asclepius snakes, non-venomous rat snakes, crawling all over the floor. They were also used in many rituals and treatments. The serpent has since then continually been associated with physicians who deal with both health and death. The snake can kill and cure apparently. This ambiguity of the snake symbol metaphorically represents the duality of drugs themselves, which also can be both therapeutic and lethal. In fact, to even provide a definition of the word “drug” can be difficult at times. What I have learned is that a drug can be both food and poison, it just depends on the dose.
Like the serpent, the cloud, a product of nature, also has both the properties of creation and destruction. Clouds have brought people, amid heat waves and droughts, relief from suffering and much needed rain for the renewal of crops to stave off famine. On the contrary, clouds can bring the destructive power in the form of hurricanes or floods to destroy life also. They have the awesome power to both give and take life equally. As such, we felt that they, just as much as the serpent, if not more appropriately, represent medicine and pharmacy. Let’s start a petition to replace the serpent with a cloud, I mean what did the snake really heal anyways? Join the Cloud revolution!
Another reason we decided to use the cloud symbology has its roots in our original cloud symbol. This guy here that looks like a caption bubble. Kind of like the little bubble that often depicts the voices of characters in comic books. Here at Cloud Pharmacy we recognize the modern-day role of a pharmacist is to communicate with their patients. I mean pharmacists don’t make drugs, or potions, or even creams anymore; we just simply dispense them. Even these tasks are often completed by assistants or technicians. Today’s role of the pharmacist is best described as optimizing your drug therapy. This includes reviewing your medications for interactions, assessing appropriateness, recommending new medications or non-drug therapies, explaining how and when to take your medications appropriately, help remind you when to take your medications, or perhaps even discontinuing certain medications. We take all these factors into account and then we do the one job that only a pharmacist can do in the pharmacy, we communicate. We communicate with you the patient and your healthcare providers. We communicate with you, so you receive the information you need to best take your medication. We also do much more communicating behind the scenes also, for example if we request for a change in therapy or just a simple fax refill request, we will contact your doctor or nurse. Whether we are talking to your healthcare providers or talking to you one-on-one when counseling, our job is to communicate your health. This is a service we really provide here at Cloud. When you call our stores, you will immediately see the difference, when one of our friendly pharmacists answers the phone and gives you their undivided attention to carefully understand your needs and provide the highest level of pharmaceutical care.
The final reason we are called Cloud Pharmacy is the same reason you hear the term Cloud used in the media all the time. You hear it on the news or as services offered by various companies: cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud data, or “it’s in the cloud”. The phenomenon of Cloud computing has now almost dominated our daily lives. This increased accessibility has provided endless benefits to healthcare also. When you are using our website, like right now, you are accessing a pharmacy halfway across the world as if we are your local neighborhood pharmacy. We are your pharmacist in the palm of your hand, right in your home. This is all possible because of the Cloud. Here are Cloud pharmacy we are constantly looking for ways to use technology and to give you the best and most affordable health care possible. We want your experience to be effortless, like being on cloud 9. To give you access to medications and information about and for your health; while at the same time we ensure your information is secured and kept confidential and not used in any form of marketing or shared with anyone period.
I personally would like to thank you for visiting us and getting to know us better. As you can see we have put a lot of thought and care into our name and what it means and represents. It is an honest testament to who we are what we represent. It recognizes the awesome power of medications and our responsibility to ensure that you are best informed to maximize your health outcomes. Cloud Pharmacy represents the every growing and expanding reach of how far you can go for your health.
Founder of Cloud Pharmacy