PHARMACY

Customizing services for each locale

BY Richard Monks

With more than 520 independently owned stores in nine provinces, Pharmasave has a solid reputation as one of Canada’s most-trusted community drug stores.

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“At the core of our strategy is a personalized, customer-centric approach to healthcare services delivery,” national CEO Carmen Churcott said. “We differentiate ourselves by embracing growing patient expectations for convenient, expanded healthcare services, knowledge and technology and through world-class customer service.”

Pharmasave offers independent pharmacy owners a full suite of operations, merchandising, private label, marketing, human resources and business technology support, as well as professional services, programs and products.

Being a group of independent stores that range in size from small apothecaries to large stores with a broad front-end mix and a brisk dispensary business means that each store owner can tailor its store to the community.

In recent months, Pharmasave has embraced the opportunities presented by the ongoing broadening of pharmacists’ role in patient care and the changes in the way patients interact with healthcare providers.

“This represents a significant opportunity for us to diversify marketing to further drive brand differentiation with consumers,” Churcott said. “Specifically, we have a strong focus on enhancing our digital engagement strategy, with new and more immediate ways of connecting with customers online.”

As part of that effort, Pharmasave last year launched Pharmasave eCare, providing patients with online access to medication records, e-refills, email reminders, personalized health recommendations and a comprehensive library of health information.

Services like this, Churcott said, are helping position Pharmasave to play a more integral role in Canadians’ lives.

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PHARMACY

Rexall rebranding well underway

BY Antoinette Alexander

Still fresh from its rebranding, Canada’s Rexall remains in the midst of change as it awaits the arrival of a new CEO.

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“Rexall and our pharmacists are industry leaders when it comes to providing patient-focused services, and we look forward to the opportunity to play an even larger role in the delivery of primary care services to Canadians,” said Warren Jeffery, COO, who has assumed day-to-day operational responsibilities in the wake of the departure of former CEO Frank Scorpiniti last October.

Since the 2012 opening of its first re-brand store, the company has opened more than 50 locations under the new design. And, all of its 460-plus stores have received elements of the rebranding, including new private-label products, refreshed marketing and more health- and-wellness services like its new Blood Pressure Kiosk Blood Pressure Check Card program, which enables patients to record and store their last 10 results.

At the front end, much of the reinvention is playing out in the form of enhanced product offerings, such as its exclusive beauty line called Kit and its flagship private brand, Be.better.

In addition to household, snacks and vitamins, the Be.better collection also includes beauty products that are paraben-free and enriched with natural ingredients.

In other executive news, the company recently welcomed Erik Botines as its new VP pharmacy, responsible for pharmacy programs and initiatives, pharmacy category management and professional programs.

Most recently, Botines was responsible for pharmacy business development, pricing and patient services at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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New leadership steers the helm

BY Michael Johnsen

Retail pharmacy is becoming increasingly global. Bi-Lo Holdings in March brought turnaround expert Ian McLeod to the helm. McLeod, who also has experience in the United Kingdom and Germany, most recently served as managing director for Australia’s 2,200 Coles food, liquor and convenience stores, including more than 760 full-service supermarkets, growing sales from $23.2 billion to $35.2 billion, doubling profits over six years and outperforming the market for 20 consecutive quarters.

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And now he will try his hand at improving Bi-Lo’s business. Last year, Bi-Lo completed its 2013 acquisition of nearly 165 Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s stores from Delhaize, and over the course of the year converted those banners to Winn-Dixie, BI-LO and Harveys. Today, Bi-Lo Holdings operates approximately 800 supermarkets, including 527 pharmacies.

Bi-Lo Holdings’ pharmacy operations are performing well under the guidance of John Fegan, Bi-Lo Holdings’ VP pharmacy. The grocer last year implemented its Refill Sync program and now boasts more than 40,000 enrollees. “Our pharmacists did a great job of talking to the patients we serve,” Fegan said. “The average patient has about five prescriptions that they put into this program. The goal is to improve the overall health of the patients that we serve by having them be compliant and persistent on the medications they’re supposed to be taking.”

“It’s a win-win,” Fegan added. “We as a company win because it improves our bottom line, [and] the patients win because their health is being improved by the fact that they’re taking their prescriptions.”

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