The Canadian drug chains Pharmasave and Rx PharmaChoice have formed a strategic alliance that executives say will strengthen both companies.


Pharmasave, Rx PharmaChoice, PharmAlliance, Sue Paish, independent drug store, pharmacy, Canada, pharmacy franchise, Richard Monks, Calvin LaRoux






































































































































































































































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Pharmasave, Rx PharmaChoice team up

July 19th, 2010

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Canadian drug chains Pharmasave and Rx PharmaChoice have formed a strategic alliance that executives say will strengthen both companies.

The partnership between the two franchise operations will be known as PharmAlliance and will help the independent stores across the country that operate under the Pharmasave and PharmaChoice banners become more efficient operators, the executives say.

More than 700 stores across Canada generating in excess of $2 billion a year in sales operate under the Pharmasave and Rx PharmaChoice banners.

“We think there are many benefits of this alliance for our members and their customers,” Pharmasave chief executive officer Sue Paish says.

“The biggest benefit is that for our customers it will ensure the choice of independent pharmacy as a viable option in Canada for a long time to come,” she says. “From the member side, it will ensure that pharmacists who want to operate their own stores will be able to continue to do so.”

With independent pharmacies across Canada facing mounting pressure from stricter government regulations and changes to the way they are paid for their services, Paish says the only way many will be able to survive is by joining forces with a cooperative.

While the Pharmasave-Rx PharmaChoice partnership has been given the formal name PharmAlliance, Paish notes that there are no plans on the table to bring the two banners together under a common name.

That is important, she says, for several reasons.

While Pharmasave has stores in nine provinces across Canada, with its heaviest concentration of outlets in the western part of the country, Rx PharmaChoice is strongest in Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan and for many shoppers in these areas is synonymous with community pharmacy.

“We think there’s great value in maintaining the different offerings and maintaining the different brands,” Paish says. “While the two groups of stores have the same ultimate goal, we do it through different vehicles.”

The creation of PharmAlliance is a result of years of discussions between the management of the two cooperative chains.

Paish says that she and Rx PharmaChoice chief executive officer Calvin LaRoux have often discussed banding together, but the timing has never been quite right.

“Since I took over at Pharmasave in 2007, I sensed that there was a common set of values and goals among the two organizations,” Paish says.

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