Honeybee pharmacist Paul Ham enjoys long walks on the beach. But don’t worry — not in the super cliched, cheesy dating profile way. More specifically, Honeybee pharmacist Paul Ham enjoys foraging for sea urchins along the coast. It turns out that sea urchins are rapidly spreading, destroying Southern California’s underwater kelp forests in the process. Every year, the government has to spend tens of thousands of dollars hiring divers to smash them with hammers.
Upstanding citizen that he is, Paul Ham does his part by harvesting the spiky little fellows and turning them into delicious sushi. You’re welcome, state of California.
Paul was on one of these long walks in July, 2019 when he got a phone call from his wife, who said she’d found the perfect job for him: Honeybee was looking to hire a pharmacist.
“No other pharmacy was willing to go outside the broken healthcare system and offer affordable prescription meds,” Paul said.
“I’d finally found a pharmacy with the same philosophy as me: to truly make meds accessible to all and positively change healthcare for good.”
After his wife called him, Paul sprinted home to write his job application. Around one week later, he was hired.
At his old Rite-Aid pharmacy job, all of the figures were always hidden, and Paul only saw how much the customer got charged. It was at his job at a compounding pharmacy, which involved buying raw materials and making drugs from scratch, that Paul learned the truth.
“I couldn’t believe how much people were overpaying,” Paul said. “It turns out, copays are often way higher than the true cost of the drug.”
Outside of work, Paul enjoys fishing. Growing up, he’d go with his dad at the Jersey Shore. His dad would always show up in head-to-toe fishing gear — Grundens (think waterproof nylon suspenders), rubber boots, and the classic bucket hat. As a little kid, Paul used to make fun of his dad for it, but now as an adult he owns all the same gear. It was his dad that showed him how to filet a fish, teaching him the importance of taking responsibility for the food you eat.
“It really connected me with nature and the cycle of life and death, from an early age.”
Is this what inspired eight-year-old Paul to one day work in medicine?
“No, I just like fishing,” Paul said. “I became a pharmacist because as a kid, I was always closer to my pharmacist than my pediatrician.”
“When I had a health problem, my parents always took me to the pharmacy first. I loved how pharmacists can be at the front line of caring for patients.”
Paul got his degree in 2013 from Rutgers Pharmacy School, also known more fancily as: Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. As a Honeybee pharmacist, Paul has become famous among employees and patients alike for his corny jokes.
“What did one bee say to another after having not seen each other for awhile?”
Paul pauses for a moment, “Wasa-bee!”
If you ever have any questions about your meds, health, or even life in general, you can contact Honeybee at (310)-559–5903. (P.S. Ask Pharmacist Paul for more dad jokes.)