PHARMACY

Health Mart, Target score highest in satisfaction survey

BY Jim Frederick

NEW YORK The nation’s fastest-growing drug store franchise and the No. 2 discount chain ranked tops for pharmacy service among the drug store, mass merchandise and supermarket pharmacy categories, said the newest customer satisfaction poll from J.D. Power and Associates.

The survey results, released in mid-September, highlighted the value consumers place on personalized, face-to-face patient care by pharmacists. That much is clear from the drug store rankings: customers polled by J.D. Power gave their highest marks for service to two pharmacy franchises composed of independent drug store owners.

Health Mart, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing pharmacy franchise, rated highest among drug store retailers in the nationwide poll, with a score of 864 points on a scale of 1,000. The nation’s other major pharmacy franchise operation, The Medicine Shoppe, ranked second in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 857.

By comparison, drug store chains compiled an average satisfaction score of 798, according to the poll.

Target ranked highest among mass merchandisers for a third consecutive year with a score of 831 out of 1,000, J.D. Power reported. Costco, with a score of 818, and Sam’s Club, with 813, followed Target in the rankings.

Meanwhile, in the supermarket segment, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans scored highest, with a satisfaction ranking of 865. Close behind was Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie, which rated a score of 860, while Publix Super Markets, based in Lakeland, Fla., was third with 855 points.

The 2009 National Pharmacy Study was based on an online survey of 12,215 customers who filled a new or refilled prescription during the late winter and spring of this year. Consumers were asked to rank local pharmacies based on a variety of factors, including professional and nonpharmacist staff, store convenience, medication availability and information, store layout and design, cost competitiveness and remote ordering convenience.

Among the survey’s other key findings: Customers with higher satisfaction scores are financially beneficial to their pharmacies through increased rates of loyalty and advocacy, and higher revenue per visit. To wit: Highly satisfied customers who give their pharmacy a satisfaction score of 901 or higher are three times more likely to say they “definitely will” return to their pharmacy, according to pollsters, and are at least seven times more likely to say they “definitely will” recommend their pharmacy, compared with customers with low satisfaction scores of 550 or lower.

“Pharmacies have an opportunity to grow their business and better position themselves for the future by improving satisfaction levels among their customers,” said Jim Dougherty, executive director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power. “For example, a highly satisfied brick-and-mortar customer generates $30 more in pharmacy revenue per visit than a customer with low satisfaction, on average. For a pharmacy with 1,000 customers each month, this translates into an additional $360,000 in revenue annually.”

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RediClinic set to offer H1N1 vaccine, FluMist

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON RediClinic is reinforcing its role as a local resource for prevention and treatment of seasonal illnesses by providing FluMist nasal flu vaccine and gearing up to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the retail-based clinic operator is offering FluMist in its Houston and Austin locations.

In addition, the clinics expect to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it is projected to become available in mid-October. For those patients experiencing flu-like symptoms, RediClinic offers diagnostic tests and treatment options to help them get healthy as quickly as possible.

“All of our clinicians are prepared to share information and advice with patients interested in learning how to prevent these illnesses, and our clinics are open seven days a week and after school and work on weekdays to ensure that patients have access to care when they need it most,” stated Nancy Ross, RediClinic nurse practitioner.

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NACDS, NCPA file lawsuit against Minnesota over Medicaid cuts

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Just a few days after announcing lawsuits against three states, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have declared that the state of Minnesota unlawfully cut patient access to Medicaid.

Additional state-based associations, including the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the Minnesota Retailers Association and other businesses, filed as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The co-plaintiffs claim the state violating the Social Security Act, which required states to adjust reimbursement rates as a result of reductions to the average wholesale price of drugs.

“MPhA is deeply disappointed in the decision of the Department of Human Services to not exercise its authority and responsibility to assist pharmacies in what will be a devastating blow to their ability to provide services to their patients,” said Julie K. Johnson, Pharm.D., EVP and CEO, Minnesota Pharmacists Association.

As previously reported by Drug Store News Wednesday, California, New York and Washington were also accused of denying patient access and quality care to Medicaid patients.

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