Medicine Shoppe is concentrating on pharmacy performance this year after having one of its best years for new stores in 2013, according to John Fiacco, vice president of Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacies at Cardinal Health Inc.


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Medicine Shoppe sharpens focus on pharmacy

April 22nd, 2014

DUBLIN, Ohio – Medicine Shoppe is concentrating on pharmacy performance this year after having one of its best years for new stores in 2013, according to John Fiacco, vice president of Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacies at Cardinal Health Inc.

John Fiacco

Last year, the independent pharmacy franchise added a dozen stores and refranchised 24 stores. Plans call for 10 to 20 more stores in 2014.

Overall in the United States, the franchise network encompasses 570 drug stores in 44 states.

On the pharmacy side, Medicine Shoppe is introducing programs to improve patient care, especially as it relates to managed health care. The retailer rolled out a new HIPAA manual to all franchisees a few months ago and continues to emphasize medication therapy management (MTM) across the system. It has resources dedicated to monitoring MTM from providers and coordinating efforts of field staff memers as they work with franchisees to complete MTM cases.

Medicine Shoppe is also endeavoring to improve adherence by piloting a medication synchronization program. It offers franchisees the choice of two Med-Synch programs, ­Ateb Inc.'s Time My Meds and MarkeTouch Media's Medication Synchronization.

Medicine Shoppe has also enrolled a number of franchisees in a pilot program with Pharmacy Quality Solutions’ EQuIPP (Electronic Quality Improvement Platform for Plans and Pharmacies) tool. It is a national platform for medication-related quality measurement, benchmarking and collaboration among health plans, prescription benefit managers and community pharmacies.

EQuIPP aggregates data from multiple health plans and pharmacies to measure quality of medication use, including nonadherence, and makes this measurement available to all participants. By serving as a neutral intermediary for quality measurement and benchmarking, EQuIPP enables pharmacies and health plans to focus on improving the quality and safety of medication use.

Medicine Shoppe, too, is piloting retail pharmacy accreditation programs. It is working closely on development with the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (a joint effort of the American Pharmacists Association, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists). It plans to use its field team to assist franchisees needing or wanting accreditation services.

The Affordable Care Act is still in its early stages, but as millions more patients have insurance and are seeing physicians, more prescriptions are being written and filled, Fiacco noted.

"We believe retail independents are well-positioned to take advantage of those opportunities — not just to fill those additional prescriptions but to deliver the additional health care services that today’s more connected, more involved patient needs," Fiacco explained. "Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are becoming an important tool in improving patient outcomes and driving down cost. And we think we’ll see more creative partnerships to make accountable care a reality."

For example, he said, Medicine Shoppe partnered with the Geisinger Clinic in Pennsylvania to submit an application for a National Association of Chain Drug Stores grant to study the effectiveness of retail pharmacies in providing clinical services to patients at discharge. Geisinger led the way in winning the grant, and Medicine Shoppe pharmacies in central Pennsylvania will participate in the Geisinger ACO.

"We expect to see more of these creative partnerships in the future, where providers work together across the continuum of care to deliver the best possible care to patients," Fiacco said.

He added that Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacies stand in a good position as community pharmacies take on a greater role in health care. "We are rolling out programs and services that will put our network of pharmacies at the forefront of patient ­services," he said.

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