Drug Store News kicked off the second day of its three-day annual Industry Issues Summit today with retailers and technology experts sharing their strategies on how pharmacies can turn into healthcare destinations.
Moderated by Nimesh Jhaveri of McKesson, the panel discussed how the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic led to pharmacies and pharmacists helping bring the country back on its feet.
Rina Shah, group vice president of specialty and retail pharmacy operations and services at Walgreens agreed with the sentiment by pointing out how pharmacy is the first stop and the last mile in healthcare delivery.
“The future is being able to deliver testing, vaccinations and consultations in our locations differently than we’ve done before. We needed to eliminate regulatory barriers and to expand the scope of practice with our techs so they could administer tests and vaccines. The future will be to continue that progression of having our patients come to their local pharmacy to get these services,” Shah said during the panel.
Other topics discussed included how customers enjoyed the convenience of ordering what they needed on the phone and being able to go ahead and pick them up when ready, Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition communication and education at Simply Good Foods noted.
Tyler Woods, pharmacy district manager at VMC pointed out how independent pharmacies have branched out from what traditional pharmacy has been and made an effort to understand the needs in their communities.
Also on the agenda was the topic of the power of data and technologies, which Alecia Lashier, chief automation officer at iA, made note of how it can begin improving the ability to give patients more choice.
Dain Rusk, vice president of pharmacy at Publix, agreed by advising the panel that data needs to be emphasized more clearly in order to drive personalization.
When it came to discussing what lied ahead further down the road, Jeffrey Bekos, vice president of new business development, provider and pharmacy at eHealth, shared his vision, which includes pharmacists being more engaged with the patient’s disease state.
The third and final panel of the DSN Industry Issues Summit, “Holistic Supplier & Retailer Partnerships,” will take place on Dec. 1. Those interested in attending can register here.