Miller Drug to Merge, Creating Local Pharmacy Chain 

For more than 50 years, Bill Miller and his wife Gloria have run Miller Drug on State Street in Bangor. His parents started a shop in 1940 that was turned into a pharmacy in 1957. Just outside the doors of the now-iconic Miller Drug Tuesday, Bill announced his family-owned business would grow. Miller Drug is merging with Affiliated Pharmacy Services.”It’s exciting. It means to me, another success. An opportunity to serve more people,” Bill says.This location will stay the same. But three existing Affiliated sites will now also carry the Miller Drug name — one at Eastern Maine Medical Center, one in the EMMC Healthcare Mall on Union Street, and the third in the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer. They’ll be overseen by Kent Bridges, a former Miller employee.”It’s not going to change a lot. We’re going to keep all the same people in all the same places, utilize the strengths of both sides of the company and make it a stronger business,” Bridges says.Some customers were surprised to hear the news, but hopeful the service they’re used to will continue.”I like the people here a lot. The service is excellent. It’s part of our community,” says Mike Aygarn, a Miller Drug customer for more than 20 years.”It’s the right time for the Miller family, it’s the right time for Affiliated to join forces and create some economies of scale with larger buying power and better service for customers, which is number one for us,” says Brian Donahue, senior vice president, Affiliated Healthcare Systems.Many people congratulated Bill on achieving one of his dreams. “Thank you!” he shouted in return.Bill also wants his many loyal customers to know — he’s not going anywhere just yet.”I’m 75 years old and my mother and father worked until they were 90, and opened the store every day until my father was 90 years old. I’m not going to do that, but I do plan to do another three or four years,” he says.They expect to begin operating as their new entity by summer.