MEDINA, Ohio — Discount Drug Mart and McKesson High Volume Solutions (HVS) have entered into a pharmacy automation agreement that calls for McKesson HVS to provide the retail pharmacy operator with a dispensing automation platform for a central fill pharmacy in Avon Lake, Ohio.
With value-based reimbursement becoming increasingly important, Discount Drug Mart believes the time is right for central fill.
Central fill is a complex system that depends on the integration of pharmaceutical distribution, inventory management, logistics and pharmacy automation to create a high-volume prescription processing model, McKesson explained in a statement about the agreement. McKesson HVS leverages the relevant technologies from other McKesson business units, and adds value in such a way that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, according to the statement.
“With central fill, Discount Drug Mart staff will be able to provide patients with multiple convenient prescription dispensing options, spend more time counseling patients on medication regimens and develop clinical programs that promote healthy outcomes,” said Ross MacMurray, vice president of strategic account sales for McKesson HVS.
Pete Ratycz, senior vice president of pharmacy at Discount Drug Mart, said pharmacy automation will permit the company’s pharmacy staff to concentrate on customer service and the provision of patient care while promoting many of the retailer’s professional and clinical services, including immunizations, medication adherence and medication therapy management. “McKesson HVS provides us with the technology, expertise and resources necessary to implement a pharmacy automation platform optimized for our business,” Ratycz said.
Discount Drug Mart opened its 73rd store in April and said another is on the way. Its newest store opened in Concord Township, Ohio, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland. The company plans to open its 74th store, near Canton, Ohio, within a year. It is also remodeling some of its outlets this year and adding some walk-in clinics.
Meanwhile, the chain’s home health care subsidiary, Hastings Medical Equipment & Services, continues to make gains. Being able to offer customers a full line of durable medical equipment products ranging from canes and walkers to oxygen and hospital beds differentiates Discount Drug Mart from the competition.
The retailer’s specialty pharmacy subsidiary, which was established in 2014, has grown faster than initially projected and complements Discount Drug Mart’s retail pharmacy business.