Q&A: Marvin Richardson talks iA’s new name, consistent service

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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It has been a whirlwind year for the newly rebranded iA. Acquired last November by a consortium led by Wasson Enterprise, the company has a new CEO, Marvin Richardson, and a new brand identity. Richardson, who took the reins in April, said he is excited about the rebranding of the company and how it will help communicate with pharmacists. He spoke with DSN about the rebrand and what it means for the industry.      


Marvin Richardson, CEO, iA

Drug Store News: Tell us what is going on at iA, including the rebranding you have implemented.  
Marvin Richardson: There is a massive opportunity to unleash the full potential of pharmacy, and this is what is driving our rebrand. At iA, we are looking to partner with pharmacy providers to provide centralized fulfilment solutions that optimize prescription fulfillment. In doing so, we are able to help pharmacy providers offer enhanced patient choice while creating time for pharmacists to deliver impactful patient care. The challenges of 2020 have reinforced our motivation and serve as the catalyst for iA’s renewed commitment to unleashing the full potential of pharmacy. 

DSN: What is the thought process behind the company’s rebranding?  
MR: The significance of our work, especially in these challenging times for pharmacists, led us to look at ourselves and challenge ourselves on where we want to go as a company. At the heart of iA, we are passionate about pharmacy. Everything we do is designed to enable pharmacists to make a difference in the health and well-being of their patients. By inventing and developing leading-edge software-driven pharmacy automation solutions for every type of pharmacy — from retail to mail order and central fill — iA works to unleash the full potential of pharmacy in partnership with pharmacy providers.

Technology and centralization are going to play a significant role in the advancement of community pharmacy now and into the future.

DSN: Tell us about your initiatives in the months and year ahead.  
MR: For years, pharmacists have been regarded as one of the most trusted and convenient healthcare providers. Their position on the front line of health care will be invaluable to our nation’s health and wellness as vaccines become available for COVID-19. In order to help meet demand, pharmacy providers will need to adjust workload for pharmacists. We believe centralization and automation of pharmacy fulfillment is the way to do this.

That’s why iA has recommitted itself to providing pharmacy providers with an accelerated approach to realizing software-driven pharmacy automation solutions that are customized for any pharmacy environment. This is pharmacy’s time, and the time for centralization is now. The future holds limitless possibilities, and iA is passionately committed to the optimum use and expansion of our intelligent software and technology — to transform the industry, to help improve the health and well-being of patients across the country and around the world. We’re excited to partner and work together to unleash the full potential of pharmacy. 

DSN: Most importantly, how does this benefit the retail community and what do retailers need to do to maximize the potential from your company?  
MR: Technology and centralization are going to play a significant role in the advancement of community pharmacy now and into the future. Centralized fulfillment has the ability to remove dispensing work from pharmacies, freeing up what we’re estimating is up to 60% of a pharmacist’s time to focus on front-line patient services. Without this reduction in dispensing work, we cannot expect our nation’s retail pharmacists to continue to play such an important role without reducing some of their daily workload. 

At iA, we have invented and developed a suite of leading-edge software-driven pharmacy automation solutions. The majority of prescriptions written are for chronic conditions, which allows for them to be electronically routed from the pharmacy to a centralized fulfillment facility, and enabling patient choice for receiving them. This frees up valuable time for pharmacists to provide additional patient services. 

Let’s all work together to unleash the full potential of pharmacy.