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Martin ‘Buddy’ Rein, honored pharmacist

Nov. 8, 1933 – April 7, 2013

Martin “Buddy” Rein, of Williamsville, a pharmacist who attained state and national honors for his innovative ideas and his contributions to the profession, died April 7 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a lengthy illness. He was 79.

Born in Brooklyn, he came to Buffalo with his family when he was 6 months old. He was a 1951 graduate of Bennett High School and earned his degree from the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 1955.

He was an owner of Keller’s Pharmacy at 744 Seneca St. during the 1960s and sole proprietor of Fisk & Pfennig Pharmacy at Colvin Boulevard and Highland Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda until he retired in 1996. He continued working part time for Rite-Aid until 2003.

Mr. Rein received the Pharmaceutical Society of the State of New York Bowl of Hygeia Award in 1967 for his authorship and compilation of an education manual for training student interns in community practice settings. He helped establish a local internship program for UB pharmacy students.

In 1973, he was honored with the Daniel B. Smith Award from the American Pharmaceutical Association as the top community pharmacist in the nation. During the presentation at the association’s annual convention, he was praised as “a model community pharmacist.”

The award cited his pioneering work in developing informational handouts for his customers to instruct them in the proper use of the prescription medications, a service that is now a standard feature at pharmacies.

A former smoker, he once gave more than $400 in profits from cigarette sales to the American Cancer Society after putting a sign in his window that declared, “If you can’t stop it, we don’t want the profit.” Later he sold cigarettes to customers at discount rates in return for a donation to cancer research.

He also donated toys to hospitals for every $1 in sales and provided his customers with convalescent aids without charging rental fees.

For several years, he taught pharmacology to nursing students at Daemen College. He often was called to be an expert witness in legal trials involving pharmacological issues. In 1973, he was the keynote speaker at the UB Pharmacy School commencement.

He was a past president of the Erie County Pharmaceutical Association, the Maimonides Pharmacy Society, the UB Pharmacy Alumni Association and the alumni chapter of Rho Pi Phi pharmaceutical fraternity.

A lifelong musician, he started playing drums when he was 7 years old and played in bands throughout his college years.

In 1991, he organized Buffalo’s Own Klezmer Band, which played Eastern European Jewish music at religious and nonreligious events.

He and his wife, the former Lenore Jacobs, would have celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in June.

Also surviving are a son, Douglas, and a sister, Arlene “Sis” Saltzman.

Services were held April 8 in Amherst Memorial Chapel, Getzville.

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