PHARMACY

New store design concept rolls out

BY Antoinette Alexander

With a new store format rolling out across its network and a successful medication synchronization program well underway, Thrifty White is working hard to stay abreast of the changing retail pharmacy landscape.

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One of the major initiatives underway at Thrifty White is the continued rollout of its Healthy Outcomes pharmacy design. There are currently 24 locations that have been converted to the Healthy Outcomes model, and the company plans to have another 12 locations converted by the end of 2015. Going forward, the company looks to convert 10 to 12 stores a year.

Thrifty White’s Healthy Outcomes pharmacy features a new design with kiosk drop-off and pickup counters, ask your pharmacist desk, patient wellness rooms, patient education kiosk, a digital television for patient programs and services, and a pharmacy drive-through. The interior finishes include a maple-wood look throughout the store.

Meanwhile, Thrifty White continues to see great success with its medication synchronization program, which launched in November 2011. Today, about 57,000 patients are enrolled in the program.

Under this program, all of a patient’s prescriptions are synchronized. So patients on multiple medications can pick up all of their prescriptions at once. On pickup day, the pharmacist will review the prescription regimen, monitor changes from any doctor or hospital visits and check for any possible drug interactions.

In-store immunizations continue to be an important — and growing — service offering for Thrifty White as its immunization business more than doubled last year. And all of the stores now have a clear waiver to perform biometric screenings either on-demand at the store or off-site at, for example, an employer’s business.

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PHARMACY

Expanding a regional drug chain

BY Michael Johnsen

Care Pharmacies now boasts 79 affiliates, three more than last year, but grew its 2014 sales by almost $100 million. That’s not as much attracting larger operators to the consortium’s business model, where each of the independent operators own a stake in the parent company, as much as it is attracting operators pre-positioned for growth.

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“Bigger is not better for us, better is better,” Michael Wysong, Care CEO, told Drug Store News. Care Pharmacies has stores operating in 10 states, including Washington, D.C., and currently is looking to expand its East Coast regional drug chain model to the West Coast with additions of several California specialty pharmacy retailers in the year ahead, he said. “We want the very best community retail and specialty pharmacies in our organization because we know the changing reform is going to require the right groups of people working collaboratively in the service of the customers. If you can do that, and you can do that under the premise of taking advantage of what the independent community pharmacies do very well, and you can do that under an umbrella of continuity — I think that is a powerful combination.”

In 2014, Care Pharmacies continued its evolution toward a regional drug chain functionality with an independent’s flair for service and quality. “When you look at reform and what’s coming with the move from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, a lot of the local acute care institutions are looking for that solution. So in 2014, we’re really in the early seeds of our Transition for Care [hospital readmission] program. That’s why the quality piece has really become front and center for us as we head into 2015.”

The other big initiative headed into 2015 is Care Pharmacies’ transition to McKesson as its wholesaler.

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PHARMACY

Improving business performance

BY Barbara White-Sax

Sam Duncan, Supervalu president and CEO, had a challenging year in 2014, but the chain managed to improve business performance after several years of declining revenues and market capitalization. “We passed an important milestone this quarter delivering positive sales increases in all three of our business segments for the first time in many years,” Duncan said in a statement issued in January 2015.

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The company operates retail supermarkets under five banners — Cub Foods, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Shop ’n Save, Farm Fresh and Hornbacher’s — across seven states and Washington, D.C.

Supervalu repositioned its Wild Harvest private-label brand in early 2015 with a new logo and packaging graphics, and is supporting the new look with a fully integrated marketing campaign, “Eat Free. Go Wild.” New packaging will include “free from” messaging that addresses consumers’ desire for clearer ingredient labeling. The company plans to extend product offerings under the brand with more than 200 new products planned for 2015.

In its pharmacy departments, the company is committed to providing clinical programs and positive patient experiences within convenient supermarket locations.

“We continue to focus on assisting our diabetic customers in managing their disease while focusing on improving compliance with all of our customers,” said Luke Friedrich, a spokesman for the company. Stores offer personalized clinical services to help manage diabetes, diabetic education in a classroom setting and grocery store tours focused on diabetes.

Friedrich said that the company had a strong year in pharmacy. “We developed an HRME pilot with a local managed care provider, opened our first in-store clinic and administered a record number of adult immunizations,” he said.

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