BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– As of Monday, November 7, Burbank Drive’s Ideal Market officially opened the first full-service Hispanic pharmacy in Louisiana.

“We noticed there was a need for a pharmacy in the Hispanic community,” said Ben Castro, marketing director of Ideal market.

Castro says this pharmacy is a necessity when it comes to ending healthcare disparities among minorities. According to the latest census data, in the past decade East Baton Rouge (EBR) Parish had the second-largest Hispanic population growth in the state.

Castro says the hispanic population has grown by 87% in the last decade.

“They have pharmacy prices dictated by big corporations of these big national chains. And they don’t know how people in Louisiana are suffering. So the local pharmacy is the ones who can make that happen and kind of ease the suffering of the crisis,” he said.

Hector Casarez is a new father of four who moved to Baton Rouge two years ago. Casarez says having a pharmacy within Ideal Market is a huge source of support in view of language barriers.

“I found medicine for the babies and my son,” said Casarez. “”It’s important because this is a pharmacy that you need and is here for us.”

They will include bilingual staff and accept those who are non-insured. Their goal is to help those who are currently choosing between food or medicine.

“Statistics show that the minorities are the ones who are not getting the proper care. They can’t afford the care. So it’s just it was something that was passionate for me to be able to help people who needed the help, who couldn’t really afford it,” said Latesha Thomas, Pharmacist at Ideal Market.

The pharmacy will provide full service for Baton Rouge and New Orleans residents.

The pharmacy is only available at the Burbank location, but will serve all Baton Rouge residents. Officials say they plan on expanding in the coming years.