With the ongoing struggles facing Independent and Community Pharmacy, it is an inspiration to hear that many of our client’s are not only surviving, but helping to change the game. As Pharmacy fights to survive, Datascan finds solace in the success of so many of our clients across the country. We continually spread the idea that we are “Stronger Together,” knowing that there is strength in numbers and together we can bring about change. Since 1978, Sedgwick Pharmacy located in the Bronx, NY, has been providing its community of patients with next level service. Working year after year to reconstruct their pharmacy model to fit the changes of the industry, Sedgwick Pharmacy continues to successfully manage their business driving their pharmacy into the unforeseeable future.
D: What are some of the ways you’re setting your pharmacy apart from the chains?
S: We offer service that you just can’t get from the chains. Our customers and employees are on a first name basis with each other. When you walk in, customers are greeted with a lively atmosphere and a fun place to “get healthy.” Our pricing is comparable and in most cases lower than most chain stores, and we make sure our customers know it! Your overall experience in our pharmacy and with our staff is far superior to any of our competitors. We offer conveniences like text messaging for refill reminders and prescriptions ready for pick up, we do free Med Sync for all patients, and even offer special ordering and delivery for any item we may not have in stock. Our same-day delivery is free and even faster than Amazon!
D: What are some of the unique services you offer to your patients?
S: Our pharmacy, while providing retail services to the public, also focuses heavily on servicing the needs of Long Term Care and group home facilities. We offer daily deliveries, bubble packed medications, med review though on-site pharmacy consulting, and much more! Thanks to some of the program features that Datascan offers like Med Sync, and our nursing home portal, we are able to offer the homes we work with and our patient’s great convenience through technology. Many of the automated utilities in our pharmacy software also frees up a lot of time, allowing us to spend extra time with our patients to develop better programs and care plans. We also offer adherence packaging to help patients’ better tackle their medications as easily as possible. We offer full immunization services and even hold flu clinics during flu season.
D: How do you combat the PBMs and ever decreasing profits?
S: There are a few different ways we’re doing this. First, we are one of the founding pharmacies of CPESN NYC, which is an organization dedicated to generating revenue streams for pharmacists outside of traditional medication reimbursement. CPESN helps to enhance patient care by bridging the gap between providers such as doctors and pharmacists. Through contracting with hospitals and medical centers, our pharmacy can provide services such as medication reconciliation, adherence packaging, and medication therapy management. This is all done outside of the control of the PBMs. We are also beginning to look into becoming a site that participates in research trials for new medications. Retail-wise, we also offer convenience services such as the vision test for DMV license renewal, UPS package drop-off, password photos, and notary services. We are also in the midst of revamping our front end OTC department to offer more “non-traditional” products that you won’t find in most pharmacies.
D: What advice would you give someone looking to open an independent/community pharmacy?
S: I’d say that, by far, the #1 thing to know is—be different. Find your niche. Find as many niches as you can that separate you from not only the chains, but from other local businesses and maybe most importantly online conglomerate giants like Amazon. What services can you offer that nobody else is offering in an environment that nobody else is offering them in?
Pharmacy is still among the most trusted professions in the US. While the traditional dispense and fill model may not be what it once was, that doesn’t mean independent pharmacy is doomed. At Datascan we continue to diversify and reinvent our products with the demands of the industry. We work hard to make sure our clients are never left behind, and we encourage you to do the same for your patients. Like Sedgwick Pharmacy, you should be taking a look at your business and searching out non-traditional sources of revenue and ways to drive traffic to your business. Look into the products and services you’re using every day and see what more they can do for you. Your pharmacy software system is the center of your business—it offers incredibly useful tools, most of the time free, to help you better manage your business. Reach out to your vendors and sign up for training, and talk about ways you can build more technology and automation into your workflow. The future of pharmacy depends on the success of each and every individual community pharmacy. While we still, as a group, outweigh the number of CVS’s and Walgreen’s combined, we must work hard to keep standing out and proving our place in pharmacy.
As a software vendor, we have the opportunity to work with some r...
Lorenzo Apothecary, owned by pharmacist David Lorenzo, is really ...