McKesson Launches RxOwnership.com to Assist Business and Career Planning for Independent Pharmacists

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Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - January/February 2009

Online service adds to a range of support tools that McKesson offers

Looking to deepen a its relationship with the independent pharmacy channel, McKesson has open RxOwnership.com and will use that site as a conduit to interacting, on a confidential basis, with pharmacists. The specific feature of the site is consulting with existing pharmacy owners when it comes to succession planning, and with pharmacists looking to purchase an existing store, or beginning a career in independent pharmacy.

“Half of today’s independent pharmacists are over 55, and all too often, issues around exit strategies or succession planning are not front-of-mind for them, says Tim Canning, president of Health Mart, McKesson’s franchising program for independent pharmacies. (McKesson currently is primary wholesaler to 5,000 pharmacies, says Canning; just over 2,000 of them are also Health Mart franchisees.)

All of the major drug wholesalers compete for business with independent pharmacies, and have a variety of bundled services and advisory programs for assisting independent pharmacies. With RxOwnership.com, McKesson is clearly trying to retain existing relationships (or create additional ones) when pharmacy ownership changes hands. Along with the business support, McKesson’s Patient Relationship Solutions unit coordinates and manages patient loyalty or adherence programs, and makes use of the pool of independent-pharmacy clients to effect some of these programs on behalf of pharma manufacturers.

“The thing about independent pharmacies is that they’re independent,” says Canning. “They become attractive to manufacturers for merchandising purposes when they can come together collectively, and that’s one of the things we’re trying to do, both with Health Mart and with our pharmacy services.”

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