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Medicine Shoppe, Medicap owners get a jumpstart on RBC 2013


SEATTLE — Call it the conference BEFORE the conference.

Even before the official start of the Cardinal Health Retail Business Conference, Medicine Shoppe International and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees came together, here, Wednesday at the 2013 MSI National Meeting to explore future opportunities — both as franchisees and independent owners — and to learn how Cardinal Health can help their individual pharmacy businesses succeed.

Dubbed “New Horizons-New Perspectives,” the meeting kicked off with opening remarks from John Fiacco, VP Medicine Shoppe International. According to Fiacco, Medicine Shoppe is squarely focused on helping its franchise-owners meet the evolving healthcare needs of today’s more engaged and demanding pharmacy customer. The group is also focused on empowering its franchisees to operate as profitably and cost-effectively as possible.

“[Today] we will dive into the topics that are affecting your business and the changes that will affect you in the future,” Fiacco shared with attendees. “Specialty pharmacy, star ratings and narrow access are terms we hear every day. Do you understand what they mean and how they challenge your business? Is your pharmacy well-positioned for the future?”

Wednesday’s program also featured special guest speaker Dan Coughlin, president of the Coughlin Company. Coughlin, who works with business leaders to improve bottom-line results through execution, innovation and branding, has helped develop the brands of McDonald’s, Subway and the hometown team of Medicine Shoppe’s first headquarters — the St. Louis Cardinals.

Medicine Shoppe and Medicap owner/operators also were treated to presentations around managed care, relevant pharmacy legislation and optimal business strategies within today’s economic and reimbursement framework.

In the afternoon, franchisees were invited to attend one of several breakout sessions, which covered topics from the opportunities inherent in healthcare exchanges, to the projected impact the Pharmaceutical Quality, Security and Accountability Act that presently sits before the Senate, will have on community pharmacy. The Senate had been expected to debate the bill designed to secure the drug supply chain and establish a list of "do not compound" medications, but left for recess earlier this month without voting on it, which will likely push the debate off until the fall.

Business consultant Coughlin returned to hone brand development skills for the franchisee group as part of a discussion called: “Strengthen Your Brand for Long-Time Success.” Sean Raynak, director of the Specialty Pharmacy Alliance, also was on hand to discuss opportunities for independents within the specialty arena. All told, it was a busy, productive day for community pharmacy owners.

Today, MSI represents more than 585 Medicine Shoppe and Medicap locations. Cardinal Health has worked hard to help position and support MSI owners to not only succeed in today’s marketplace, but also in tomorrow’s marketplace as the last pieces of healthcare reform are put into play.

For example, franchisees have continued to expand patient care services by tapping into Cardinal Health’s Specialized Care Centers for diabetes, heart health, immunizations and home health programs, which provide pharmacy owners with the tools and resources they need to position themselves as local patient resources.

“Medicine Shoppe franchisees have always been committed to delivering truly personalized, convenient care to their patients,” Fiacco told DSN earlier this year. “They’re seen as more than pharmacists; they’re healthcare leaders in their communities. And they understand that now, more than ever, their patients are looking to them to help them manage not just their medications, but [also] their overall health.”

Cardinal Health’s Specialized Care Centers represent a win-win for franchise owners and patients. Offering a multitude of healthcare services allows franchisees to diversify their revenue streams even as they strengthen their relationships with patients — a strategy for long-term success.

“We provide the patient education resources, marketing materials, even planograms and product recommendations to empower pharmacy owners to position themselves as local ‘destinations’ for diabetes, heart health, home health or immunizations,” Fiacco said. “It’s also good for patients who can look at Medicine Shoppe as a one-stop destination for health care.”

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