Jeffrey Hoover with Pure Life Pharmacy

Jeffrey Hoover with Pure Life Pharmacy

On this week's episode, we're sitting down with Jeffrey Hoover. Jeffrey is a long-time entrepreneur and owns Pure Life Pharmacy here on the Gulf Coast, a direct pay pharmacy that strives to give power to the community through individualized medicine. Listen to this week's episode to hear his story and how he wants to help people change lives through his business.


Jeffrey Hoover: My name is Jeffrey Hoover and I own Pure Life Pharmacy.

Marcus Neto: Awesome. Well thank you for coming on the podcast, Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Hoover: Thank you for having me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, well the way that we normally start, just so kind of people have this frame of reference of who you are, is just to kind of get some backstory. So tell us the story of Jeffrey. Where are you from? Where'd you go to high school, maybe it was local, maybe it wasn't. And where did you go to college? Those kinds of things.

Jeffrey Hoover: All right. I have a unique background. I grew up in California until I was 16. I went to California High, it's in Northern California, the Bay area, which is close to San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland. And I left California High on a Monday in February of '97 and I went to Daphne High two days later. I left on a Friday, Daphne High on that Monday, two days later. And stayed in state, went to Auburn, graduated with two degrees with marketing and logistics and I had a financing minor, but I had to split the minor up to work into the electives of the marketing and logistics degrees. And after that I traveled the world in a variety of jobs that had to do with marketing and logistics. I've worked in Hull, England. I've worked in Shanghai, China. I found my way back here.

Jeffrey Hoover: I've always loved this area. I live in Daphne currently. I never really left Daphne even though I'd worked in other areas. And I had my own import business from China and I knew my sourcing agent, he had horrible health. And it could be a whole podcast of how horrible this guy's health was. His name was Paul Chou. He was amazing. He was a mentor of mine. And I knew that this trade that I was getting containers full of tools and private labeling them for wholesalers around the United States was going away. And I took the last container and me and my wife started a salon in Fairhope. We took the money from the last container, started the salon in Fairhope and that's when the roots really grew down.

Jeffrey Hoover: But if I back up a little bit, while I was traveling, I was engaged to my wife and I came back from one of my China visits. I told my dad, I said, "I think she's the one. I've been away from her." And he grabbed me and I was in a car getting a ring like moments after I said it. Dad's like, "You're going." So we picked out a ring.

Marcus Neto: He's like, "You're not going to make the mistake of letting this one slide away."

Jeffrey Hoover: Oh yeah. He really helped me out. And then married the love of my life, Brandy. And Brandy has supported the whole adventure of starting a pharmacy and a very unique pharmacy because it's based off of helping patients and morality and less off of making money. So my wife has been the one to support the family. She's the one who is letting me and supporting me on this drive because she also believes in it as well.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah.

Marcus Neto: That's very cool, man. So obviously you come to this venture with a lot of experience having seen the world and experiencing what other countries view as helpful medicine and maybe even bringing some of that mentality back to the good old U.S. Of A., right?

Jeffrey Hoover: Right, right.

Marcus Neto: But before we dive into what your current venture is, why don't you tell us about your very first job?

Jeffrey Hoover: My very first job, I was a paper boy. I was one of the last paper boys, I suppose. So how I got that job was my brother got it first and my brother doesn't like waking up in the morning. So I always felt an obligation and a duty to things. It's been in me, my parents taught me how to work hard. And I remember I used to ride with my brother to help him and he'd pay me a little bit. And then he just started sleeping in and I started carrying on the route. And I had the Sunday papers and we'd have to either put rubber bands around them if it was a sunny day. Or if it was raining, they'd give you bags. And I always liked the bags because you can throw them in a lot easier than the rubber bands. And then I put them on bike and I ride my bike to, it'd be like a condominium unit, like there's a bunch of condos and I'd throw uppers and lowers and sometimes I hit stuff and I'd get complaints and whatnot. But that was my first job. I would say I was around nine. And then I continued to do that for a couple years.

Jeffrey Hoover: And then my second job, which you can consider my first like W2 job where my dad wasn't paying me to do my brother's job, was I worked at a generic Chuck E. Cheese and it was called Kids Count in San Ramon. It's no longer there. I can say their name. And I would have to dress up in animals and do birthday parties, I'd have to clean the ball pits, I'd have to do all that stuff.

Marcus Neto: Thankless work.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah. And one of my most horrible ... I'm a hard worker, but I was really tired, I guess, one day. And so I thought, they have the skee-ball, you know, where you throw it up? And so, I went under the skee-ball machines and fell asleep.

Marcus Neto: Oh my God.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah, for hours. And I got out. First of all, if you ever wake up underneath skee-ball machines, you don't know where you're at. You hear all the noises, you hear all the ... So I go out and the owner, it just changed ownership. The previous owners didn't care about anything. This owner was gray haired and older and he was so mad at me and I could not believe I was getting in trouble for sleeping. And you know when you're young you try to think of a way like out of it. There's no way out of sleeping underneath the skee-balls. So that was the last time I guess I slacked off when I'm working.

Marcus Neto: No, that's fun. So it sounded like you were making ... Were they tools like for working on-

Jeffrey Hoover: So what I would do is I would go visit the manufacturers in Shanghai. I would be the quality check with Paul Chou. He was showing me the ropes. And then we would work with graphic designers to do the private label and that's really where the American buyers liked dealing with me instead of directly with a Chinese company because there was a language barrier, there was problems with getting it correct, there was issues of spelling. And I saw halogen lamps go out that said thousand watt fish lips. Yeah, that was a big problem.

Marcus Neto: That's great.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah, I was the intermediary that made sure if you called China and said, "Hey, is my container shipped?" And you have a wholesaler, they'll always tell you, "Yes." They would call me in, "Is it shipped?" I say, "I don't have the bill of lading. It is not shipped. I don't know where it is, but it's hasn't been shipped." They're like, "I really appreciate the honesty." And you can see the value of honesty, of creating the world you want to live in.

Marcus Neto: But there were physical tools, right? Hammers and yeah.

Jeffrey Hoover: There were physical tools. So we'd go over there.

Marcus Neto: So how did you transition from that to pharmacy?

Jeffrey Hoover: Great question. Okay, so this is going to be a little weird. Last container comes in. We set up the salon, the salon had to have a credit card machine. I was setting up the credit card machine and there was a guy who set up the credit card machine. And I talked to him like I'm talking to you about my travels. And he knew I was unique and he didn't know what to do with it, in terms of my background and work experience. Well he ends up working at the Macula Institute. He goes from selling credit card machines to working at the Macula Institute as their Chief Operating Officer. I've never asked him how he made that move, but he made that move. And in the Macula Institute as the Chief Operating Officer, this was back in 2008, there was a compounding pharmacy in there called Medistat. They're no longer around. They've closed their shop up. And they needed help and he knew that I had a background in helping organize businesses. I had the background and I understood sales and marketing and logistics and finances and everything that they had.

Jeffrey Hoover: And I remember, I'll just say his first name, Lou, says, "You need to meet with these three owners." And I was like, "All right, Lou, I'll do that." Because I needed a job. Paul was disappearing over in China. Brandy's salon was just starting up and I needed to figure something out. And so I had an interview with the three owners. And to me, I felt like I was going to be a bookkeeper in these interviews. They walk me in the first day of this pharmacy and you guys know my background in sales and distribution of tools. They walk me into the company, which was a pretty big company. And they said, "I'd like you to meet your new general manager, Jeff Hoover." And I'm like, "Yeah, exactly." I go, "Yes, I am." I went around it.

Marcus Neto: That's great.

Jeffrey Hoover: So what I had to do was I had to figure out what in the world this was. And I knew the fundamentals. And so I sat and talked to every single employee and I have a question for them. I said, "What do you do?" And they would tell me and I wouldn't believe them. And I'd sit and watch them and then I'd learn what they did. And I was like, "Okay, I'm getting this." And over the course, I worked from there from April of 2008 until June of 2010. And I got to the point with this working there that I got into, not the operations of a compounding pharmacy, but what they can do. What can a pharmacy do? And I had a specific thing that I wanted to do with the pharmacy. So I resigned.

Jeffrey Hoover: I started my own pharmacy in Florence, Alabama with a business partner, at the time. And I had a way of thinking about a compounding pharmacy that should be local, it should deal directly with the physicians that are local and the patients that are local. Because what a compounding pharmacy is, if you look at it from a business mind and not a medical mind, it's just in time manufacturing of medicine. And if I look at you and say, "I can make medicine specifically for you for your problems," to me that's a real fascinating industry. So I really liked where it could go, especially with hormones and wellness. I've never met the, what do they call the NPC people? That's just the blank video game people that are exactly the same as everybody else. Nobody's the same. Nobody. Even if it's your blood sugar, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your hormone, you're taking an average medicine. They say that 7.5 milligrams of this medicine helps, on the bell curve, the central part, the median.

Marcus Neto: So they're going to give you that.

Jeffrey Hoover: Well, what if you're not in the median?

Marcus Neto: What if it's eight or six or whatever?

Jeffrey Hoover: Exactly. So customized medicine, just in time manufacturing, and compounding is outside the purview of the FDA. They can come in and look at what you're doing, but it's regulated by the state and the FDA allows it because there is necessity of compounding. If there's a back order in the community, a compounding pharmacy can make it for the community. So let's say an antibiotic runs out and everybody needs it, we can get in the active pharmaceutical ingredient, the API, and we can make it for the community. You can't make things that are commercially available because some manufacturers spend $1 billion to make that. But if it's not available, now we can make it. And there's also things, there's things for autism, there's things for down syndrome, there's things for MS, there's things for, like you said, hormone replacement therapy, that's a big one. There's things for all kinds of disease states that are very unique to the person that a compounding pharmacy can deal with. What if a person can't swallow a pill? How do they take the medicine? Well, we make it in a different dosage form so you can take it.

Jeffrey Hoover: So I really liked that and I liked being able to help in the community. One of my drives in just in life in general, the thing that makes me get up in the morning and it always has, is helping people. Go back to my brother. It's like I'm going to try to help him and I'm going to make ... So it's I love helping people and I've always felt regret in college for not getting a medical degree or going into the service world. I went into the world of marketing and logistics and finance and that's the profit world. And I have a very contentious relationship with profit.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, because you know that it's a necessity. It's a necessity for a business. But at the same time, the things that you normally have to do to get there leave out that service or that heart side of things.

Jeffrey Hoover: That's exactly right.

Marcus Neto: It's a struggle I feel as well. Because I mean like, we do a lot. Like this is an example, you're not paying to be here. Nobody's ever paid to be on this show. I mean, we took a little bit of money from some friends early on as advertisers to help offset costs. We don't even do that anymore. And you know, we've got what, $100,000 or so invested in this. But it's really just to kind of share the good stories of what entrepreneurs like yourself are doing in Mobile because I just got tired of hearing nothing but bad news.

Jeffrey Hoover: Right. Well thank for this.

Marcus Neto: A city of potential, you know? No, it's not the city of perpetual potential anymore. There are tons of people just like yourself that are doing wonderful things in the city and that needs to be celebrated.

Jeffrey Hoover: Well, I really appreciate it. I know the people who've been on the show really appreciate it. It's really hard to get the word out for sure.

Marcus Neto: So do you remember the first time, the first sale, or maybe it was the first, when you actually owned the business, maybe the first life that you impacted where you thought, "Oh man, yeah, there's something here?"

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah. Crying in the waiting room. Yeah, yeah. We call them the aha moments and they've changed a little bit and I can tell you how it's changed. But in the beginning, when you do a customized medicine and it's like you finally put the key and turn it, like that key is specific for them, for their problem, and you fix the problem, you unlock the problem, they'll come in crying. Like you finally took the time to do something about, you cared enough. And that's also a trade off of like care and profit. If you care about profit, you're probably going to lose it on the backend of what you're doing. And you're dealing with patients. I'm not selling hamburgers. There's a moral ethic below what you're doing. So yeah, I do remember when the patients come in and give you hugs and stuff. Typically, the pharmacist. Me, I'm not really seeing them. I'm not a pharmacist. Yeah, I haven't made that clear. I'm just-

Marcus Neto: Did you stay at a Holiday Inn last night?

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah, I did stay. Yes, you knew it.

Marcus Neto: I knew where you were going.

Jeffrey Hoover: Okay.

Marcus Neto: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to steal your punch line, there.

Jeffrey Hoover: No, I love that. No. Because I've said that and it falls so flat so many times. People just stare at me.

Marcus Neto: I understand you, man.

Jeffrey Hoover: You do. You do.

Marcus Neto: I understand you.

Jeffrey Hoover: The other side of this pharmacy that we've done, I've only talk about the compounding side. We are one of the only in the Southeast and one of the only in the country that do not carry insurance contracts. We have a model that is set up for people who don't have insurance. And if you do have insurance, we're trying to beat even your copay. We're trying to show patients and anybody the true cost of what this medicine is. Because when I was in the compounding world, I'm a pharmacy. I can look at prices of anything. So we'd contact vendors and look at prices. And these generics are incredibly, incredibly affordable. But when you go and you look at the prices of other pharmacies, they're not affordable. And so, you have this thing of like how much can I profit off of your disease state as a business model? And that's a strange business model. Oh you really need insulin? How much can I charge you for it? You really want to stay alive? And they don't associate it with cost. It has nothing to do with cost. It's the demand. Right?

Jeffrey Hoover: So the costs, back in 1984, ANDA was passed. And that meant that the generic manufacturers did not have to get a new FDA approval for a new drug. If they made it the same way as the old drug, the FDA streamlined it through. So now it really dramatically dropped the price of making generics. So we should have seen a precipitous drop in all medicine across the board. Specifically, if you think about when all these cool drugs came out, late '90s, early 2000s, all the cholesterol, the blood sugar, the blood pressure, it was fantastic. We were inventing everything, right? All of those are off patent but we haven't seen the drop in premiums, we haven't seen enough prescribed people getting the generic drugs and using the benefit, and even the generic drugs themselves don't seem like they're that inexpensive because the costs are still high. And a lot of that is due because people don't understand the nature of what insurance is and how they set prices for the pharmacy. So when I had an insurance contract, I would go to a major insurance company and I would say, "I want to be contracted with you so your patients can come to my pharmacy."

Jeffrey Hoover: In that contract it said, "Here's your maximum allowable cost for this drug." And it's called a formulary and you could look at every drug known to man and see how much I can bill that insurance. What you have not heard me say is what that drug actually costs. That's exactly right. And so every pharmacy's billing maximum allowable cost. And they used to, before 2016, if you came in and said, "I don't have insurance, how much is it?" They would go, "Okay, wink, wink," and they'd give you a cash price. In 2016, it changed because there's two major lawsuits that happened.

Jeffrey Hoover: There was a lady who was getting a cholesterol medication, I believe, and she was paying $50 a month. She came in, she lost her job and she goes, "I don't have a job anymore. How much is this medicine?" And they said, "$20." And she goes, "I've been paying $50 for years, now you owe me some money." So she walks out of one of the major big boxes, big box pharmacies. She gets a lawyer and the lawyer was smart enough to realize it wasn't just her, it was everybody else. And so, huge major class action lawsuit against this major big box pharmacy. And then another lawyer group said, "Well, if that pharmacy did it, I bet this one did it." And they filed one. So the two major pharmacies got sued in 2016 and immediately you see people stopped doing under the table cash sales. Because of that, pharmacies can't charge the insurance company $100 and sell it to you for $20. But they can charge you $20 and never bill it to insurance or bill it to insurance for $20 if they felt like it. But what they started doing is every pharmacy took 20 drugs, 30 drugs, 40 drugs, and segmented them out and they said, "These are our non-insurance drugs. We won't play the insurance game with them. We'll sell them to you direct." I'm sure you've heard of the $4 list, right?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jeffrey Hoover: And that's fine. But if you don't have insurance or if you have bad insurance or major medical, what you're doing is you're ending up going to this pharmacy for one drug, that pharmacy for another, and that pharmacy for another, and you spread yourself out. If I told you that we have over a thousand drugs listed for less than $10, most of them are $10 for three months, all in one location, that's the side that we have.

Marcus Neto: I think my brain just leaked out of my ear.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah. It's awesome. And if everybody immediately goes, "Well how do you do it?" And I wouldn't be able to do it if that was my only side. The compounding side finances the generic side. If I don't have any generics, my pharmacy still operates perfectly. I have an amazing crew that does amazing work and that's the background. We've added this side as a moral side. So I always equate it like I know when I buy Toms shoes, another kid gets Toms shoes who doesn't have shoes. If you buy a compound from the pharmacy, somebody is getting medication that wouldn't be available to them at this location to help them out. And so that storyline of trying to ... What it's taken me 20 minutes to describe is very hard to describe when you're walking in and you're trying to get it out and like a patient walking in the door, they can't understand what's happening or why it's working. They don't want to spend the time to understand the insurance game. They don't really know why you're different or what you're different. But having this platform and what you're doing is a really big deal. That's why I was saying earlier, I really appreciate what you're doing because it's hard to get this out. There's a lot of-

Marcus Neto: Well, I mean, touché. I appreciate the information that you're bringing me because I think, I mean, something's got to change, right? I mean, we've all gotten angry at the healthcare industry. I think nobody says that the healthcare, granted this is the greatest time to be alive because we have all the drugs to make us all better for the most part, but at the same time, there's this big battle that we're having about how to handle, things and it all surrounds that money issue. Right? And so it's nice to know that there are some options out there that people can turn to that ...

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah. We met a lady who was buying dog food to eat because she couldn't afford food. And so you'll have this problem with they can buy food, medicine, or pay rent, but they can't do all three. They can do two. And like, we need to change that. And you should have a profitable business and you should also have an ethical business. You should have a problem that you're trying to solve. And the problem should not be how big my bank account should be. You should have a drive that gets you up in the morning that's different than am I winning? Oh, I had this class, this is a side note. I had this class, I went over to Lloyd's of London. And Lloyd's of London is an insurance buying group. Okay? And the guy who was a purchaser of Lloyd's of London, he said, and I quote, he takes out his wallet, throws it on the table, he goes, "You know what that is?" And I was like, "It's a big wallet." And he goes, "That means I'm winning because that's what it's all about. It's just about winning. Who has a bigger wallet at the end of the day?" And I was disgusted. But he was very happy with how big it was.

Jeffrey Hoover: And there's a side and a market for that. Medicine really shouldn't be in that. And also, if you talk about markets, one of the fundamental things of a market is to price something out. It's super hard to price something out. Actually, it's impossible. Everybody misses the IPO. I've never seen someone nail an IPO. Never. It's always like a risk and a gamble. And markets are there to price things out. So when you don't have the market set the price, you have something that mimics communism.

Marcus Neto: Right. They're dictating what it is versus allowing.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah, and you're allowing corruption to get involved in that. And there is a large corruption maintaining high levels of prices because they're trying to maintain your premiums in the cycle. And the only way to get out of that is to get out of the entire insurance game, the manufacturing game. I love that they bring new products to the table, but their goal, it's the embedded growth obligation. They have to continue to grow and they have to continue to have branded drugs that are on patent and they have to continue to develop these things so that the money flows through them constantly. And part of that game is to keep the prices high on that formulary.

Jeffrey Hoover: And what you guys probably don't know is there's something called a rebate. When I buy the drug, let's say it's a manufactured drug and cost me $1,000 and I bill it to insurance for $1,200 and they pay me $1,050. The pharmacy gets $50 on this branded drug. The manufacturer I had to buy it from gets the thousand I paid them for it. They take that $1000 and they might take $500 of it and give it back to the insurance company to make sure that they keep it at $1,000. It's called a rebate. I call it blackmail. I call it under the table, kind of like rigging of the system. But that's allowed. And they'll actually use those rebates to manipulate copayment prices. "Hey, we're paying you $10 million a year on this new drug. Can you drop it from a level four $75 copay to a $50 copay?" I encourage every listener here to look up pharmaceutical rebates. You'll see everything about them. They're so shady.

Jeffrey Hoover: So that game of who sets the price, how much money is running back into the insurance company is awful. And the way to, if we need to do something about it, like you said, what are we doing about it? Pull yourself out of the system. The generics are affordable enough. There's so many of them that there's very few people that need the branded side of the drug, in my opinion. It's up to the physician. I want to put that clause in there. But in my opinion, the generics are there to cover so many people that you can pull yourself out of that loop. You can work on allowing the market to set the prices like every other industry out there and stop having some central planner work off a formulary.

Marcus Neto: That is absolutely insane. I mean, this is a little bit different. I'm just kind of letting him talk about what it is because I think that this information is just so important to get out because we are stuck in a loop.

Jeffrey Hoover: Right.

Marcus Neto: Right? We are stuck in this loop and I feel like a lot of us just feel so helpless with what it is that we're stuck in. We don't know how to-

Jeffrey Hoover: How do you set up a direct pay model? So if you want to get away from insurance, are you confident enough you don't have to buy $1,000 a month drug? Like, that's the problem. It's like everybody's scared, but every year the premiums are going up. And in my opinion too, I feel like it's almost a non-supportive Ponzi scheme that the insurance companies are doing. I think more people are dropping out of insurance and doing direct pay. I know nurse practitioners now that are direct pay, they'll come to your house. You don't have to go to an urgent care. For 80 bucks, they come right to your house. $50 a month, they'll come as many times as you want. Direct pay model. So if healthy people are the ones supporting the people who are sick, bet you didn't know this, I believe 90% of all your medical costs are in your last five years of your life. Okay, so now all the healthy people are supporting the people who are 80 to 85. Okay. So what happens when the healthy people-

Marcus Neto: Let me also, for this end, and I won't say who my physician is, but my physician at the last appointment said that 85% of his practice was treating obesity. So between obesity and older people, that's probably 98% of everybody.

Jeffrey Hoover: Medical costs. So we're sitting there and saying, "Why should I watch my premiums go up $100 a month every year to support something that you feel is going to collapse?" When you should have a tailored program to who you are, your age, if you're sick, on how you're going to do it, and having at least the option to sit there and say, "I know that this pharmacy doesn't take insurance. I can set that up. I know this physician will take a direct pay, so I'll go and see them. I'm relatively healthy. I don't know the last time I went to the emergency room, but if I do, I have major medical and it cost me $150 a month instead of $400." Right? So it's like as people are ... To me, it's like the cutting of cable. I cut the cable back in 2010 when I left that company and lost my payroll. I was like, "We can't afford a satellite anymore." But as you saw people, more and more, it collapsed the system and now you see everybody moving and now you have Apple TV taking up. I see that happening.

Marcus Neto: You've got Apple TV, Disney+, you've got ESPN+, Hulu, Philo, you know you've got ... There are 20 different applications that you can use now to get that same service at $20 or less a month.

Jeffrey Hoover: I believe that that's going to happen to insurance. I think so many people, so many healthy people are going to leave it because they're trying to suck more and more money monthly out of healthy families. They're going to find the alternative because I think we're at the tipping point where the alternatives are less risky than paying the 1200 to 1300 a month. $1,300 a month with a $6,000 deductible is insane. So it's like I think people are going to leave. And then because it's not sustaining the bottom end of that pyramid scheme, the top, they're just going to keep on continuing to collapse by accepting more and more premiums. It's as if the satellite TV decided to keep charging you more because there was less clients, you're going to see it go into a death spiral really quick. And I see insurance kind of doing that and I think it's been doing it for a while, but we haven't had options. And if you keep your eyes open, you'll start seeing more and more options for the a la carte, more physicians. I can't tell you how many physicians are so upset about the insurance game. They don't like this.

Marcus Neto: No. I mean, it's a necessary evil. But at the same time, I know a lot of physicians that are just going, they're going cash only. They don't want to deal with insurance at all.

Jeffrey Hoover: They're allowing the market to settle the price.

Marcus Neto: Well and the interesting thing too is my youngest son is 13. At the time we had major medical, we did not have Blue Cross Blue Shield. We went to the OB my then wife was going to be using for all the checkups and everything up to the delivery and then the actual delivery. And they had a price that was really reasonable for every, it was like $2,500 or something like that. It was like for all of the exams that you were going to need, the sonogram, the delivery, everything.

Jeffrey Hoover: Two months worth of premiums.

Marcus Neto: Exactly. And you know, I mean, it's amazing to me how if you start searching for that ... And this was 13 years ago, so who knows what it is now? It could be even less than that.

Jeffrey Hoover: I love the market. It solves the pricing problem. You need the whole ... You need all the different facets and all the different variables coming together and that market solves the pricing problem. So if I'm watching and I have a price that's off because some other vendor, I'll bring it down. And then you put pressures on the wholesalers to match those prices. If somebody else is getting it, you put pressure on the other pharmacies to lower what they're doing. I hope every pharmacy gets my price list and gets scared. I really do. I hope the community recognizes.

Marcus Neto: It's capitalism at it's finest.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yes, we're a free market. Unless the free market gets polluted. That's what, if people want to know, that's what's happening. In my opinion, to the insulin, everybody asked me, "How much is your insulin?" And what's happened is I believe there's three manufacturers of insulin. And the three manufacturers of insulin, I just saw this on 60 Minutes, is that they would mark that they would talk to each other on Monday. All three manufacturers would be on a phone call. And three days later their price would go up 200%. You can't do that in this game of free market. You can't start angling to not allow for the competition to keep your prices low. Because if of one of the three manufacturers like, "I'm not raising my price," then the prices would stay low. So the free market is when people start kind of complaining with all this free market stuff, when it isn't trammeled by corruption, it does set prices very well. And that's what we're trying to introduce. And that's what people need to be able to differentiate. If they see a price of a drug go way up, understand that that's not the market putting market pressures on that. That's a corrupted market that is exploiting no competition instead of a lot of competition.

Marcus Neto: Well, in the interest, because we've been going for a while now, let me get us back on track and say, if you were wanting to talk or if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Jeffrey Hoover: I would sit back and really ask yourself what do you do during the day that makes time fly and makes you forget where you're at? Because that's what you're interested in. And I heard a saying one time, "You don't know where your interests come from, but some people think it's your future self calling back to you, trying to direct you to where you should go." So I would say listen to your future self and be interested in something and don't let that be making money. Do something that you're genuinely interested in that you feel meaning, that makes you get out of bed, that makes the time stop, that makes you forget about where you are. And then you'll work on being possessed by the idea. Instead of you thinking you have an idea, let the idea possess you and then go forward with it and then let the group of people around you be possessed by the same idea so they support it without you having to manage them and force them to do it. And I think that's why-

Marcus Neto: Money follows if you figure all that out.

Jeffrey Hoover: Yeah. I think that the pharmacy's successful because everybody over there is working towards helping patients out. I have a fantastic crew. I'm very blessed to work with them. And that's the idea.

Marcus Neto: If you look to the business world, is there one person that motivates you?

Jeffrey Hoover: Oh. In the business world that motivates me. I don't know if there's someone that I look at and say ... You know what I like? I like Tim Cook because he doesn't like polarization. He's the one guy, he's like, he just came out recently and he said, "I don't like the polarization of ideas." And I really like taking that position of understanding that people have ideas for valid reasons and you can be selective. But I really liked that he and I also liked that he's for major privacy. I think that's a big issue coming up as we get further. So I would say Tim Cook.

Marcus Neto: Very cool. And are there any books, podcasts, people, or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Jeffrey Hoover: Flash Foresight that I mentioned earlier, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman was a great book that helped me out. And those two, those two are really good. Other than that, I'm really into philosophical books and things. But those two for business really gets you to understand. Thinking Fast and Slow shows you the two modes of thinking that you have. It really clears up your ideas. I really love it. And Flash Foresight tells you about the eight different things that change industries and you should be aware of what those eight motivators are of change and how they affect your industry.

Marcus Neto: Interesting. I've not heard either of those mentioned and they haven't popped up on my Amazon suggested reading, so I'll have to check those out.

Jeffrey Hoover: Well if anybody's listening, they'll pop up now. We're being spied on.

Marcus Neto: They will. Exactly. My phone's sitting there. I'm sure it's being fed to me on Instagram as we speak. So what's the most important thing that you've learned about running a business?

Jeffrey Hoover: It's let the idea run the business. And you have to ... You learn a lot about yourself when you manage. And so-

Marcus Neto: Man, there's some truth in that.

Jeffrey Hoover: Be very aware of who you are and what you do. And remember, it takes like five times the effort to force somebody to do something than to have someone follow in line with somebody. And then, if you're a business owner, leaders eat last. Be very aware of that. Like when you're going into it, don't be the one at the buffet line while your troops are out there starving.

Marcus Neto: For sure. Yeah. How do you like to unwind?

Jeffrey Hoover: Oh man, there's something about, I'll tell you about what my favorite meal is because I've always eaten it. I love kettle cut chips, two hot dogs, and a La Croix. But sometimes recently I've gotten into having red wine in a coffee mug. My wife makes fun of me, but I don't like holding a wine glass and it keeps the wine cold. Oh, here's something about me that she ... I like chilling my red wine. That's very strange. So I'd take cold red wine in a coffee mug. Well, I learned it in China. So like leave me, like let me be with my thing. So if I'm sitting there zoning out and getting real quiet, I've learned to let the volume go up at night or I'll have too much anxiety and whatnot. So getting quiet with hot dogs, kettle cut chips, and a mug of red wine was good.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, that's great, man. Well, tell people where they can find you.

Jeffrey Hoover: They can find us at We have a search bar that you can type in your drug to see if we have what the price is and the generic. I always tell people to call us. The phone number's on the website. We have a Facebook page, Facebook/purelifepharmacy. And we love people leaving comments and talk to us. Here's a big thing, when you call us, our pharmacists actually like talking about pharmacy and talking to you. We're not hidden. We like, if you want to get into business speak, being a disruptor and saying that the pharmaceutical industry hasn't changed, but now we're bringing the service back to it. Like we actually care about patients. So call us, go to the website. The number is 251-424-1544. And we'll talk to you about anything that you need.

Marcus Neto: That's awesome. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?

Jeffrey Hoover: Again, I hope you guys know how important it is to do what you're doing. I know that you guys invested in this. And to be able to invite me on, I'm really glad that the people put us together. And as a business owner, our pharmacy has been since 2014. It is so hard to get the word out and for you to open that door and let me do this is a really big deal, so I appreciate it.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, I know. And who, I don't remember off hand, who was it that-

Jeffrey Hoover: Ron Civic.

Marcus Neto: Very good. Yeah, no, he's definitely a connector in the business community. For those of you that don't know Ron, he writes business articles for Lagniappe. And so, I'm really glad. He's sent over a number of people and he's always steered me correct. So I'm glad he made that introduction. Anyway. So Jeffrey or Jeffery? That's an inside joke. Before the podcast. I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It was great talking with you.

Jeffrey Hoover: Thank you, Marcus.

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