N.C. Mutual Wholesale Drug Company was established May 1st, 1952 as a customer-owned service corporation for member stores to purchase merchandise and benefit from the savings of buying as a group. This cooperative model began doing business in August of 1952 with three employees and 32 customers in a 10,000 square feet warehouse on the corner of Angier Avenue and Elm Street in Durham, NC.
In 1962, N.C. Mutual broke ground on six acres of land located at 816 Ellis Road, for a new 37,000 square feet warehouse. This undertaking began under the management of D. L. Boone, Jr., who served as general manager of the company from 1952-1962. In 1962, Ralph P. Rogers, Jr. began the role of General Manager and Executive Vice President where he remained until 1986 when he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in August of 1988. During Rogers’ tenure, additions were made to the warehouse four separate times increasing its size to approximately 120,000 square feet.
Donald V. Peterson, who served as General Manager from 1986-1988, assumed the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer after Mr. Rogers’ retirement in 1988. Under Mr. Peterson’s direction, another expansion of 47,000 square feet was approved and completed in 1991 increasing the total floor space to 165,000 square feet. In an effort to deliver better service and lower cost, Mutual acquired a computer operation system which previously had been outsourced to modernize order filling, inventory control and management programs.
Mutual Drug began renovating its office in June of 1998, and the project completed in 1999 under the direction of a new Chief Executive Officer David Moody, Jr. Mr. Moody served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in March 2016. Upon Mr. Moody’s retirement, Hal Harrison was selected as new Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2016.
Currently, Mutual Drug serves over 500 pharmacies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The company is owned by its customers, who are also stockholders. Mutual Drug is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors, all pharmacy owners. Mutual Drug is the 6th largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in the United States with 1.3 billion in sales.
The year 2017 marks Mutual Drug’s 65th anniversary as a company.