PLYMOUTH, Minn. — At Thrifty White Pharmacy, it’s “all about the patients and healthy outcomes,” according to chief operating officer Tim Weippert.
“Our pharmacy teams are patient focused, driving adherence, patients’ health and outcomes, resulting in reductions in total costs of care,” Weippert says of the regional drug chain, which has more than 90 stores in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Montana and Wisconsin.
“As an employee-owned company of 1,450 employee owners,” he explains, “we incorporate diversification and flexibility into our many areas of focus, including retail, long-term care, specialty, central fill, e-commerce and warehousing, leading us to be well positioned to advance, grow and meet the everyday needs and challenges we all experience in our industry.”
Weippert notes that Thrifty White’s avenues of enhancement and growth in pharmacy are threefold:
• Specialty — enhancing partnerships and relationships with providers, manufacturers, and payer networks and health plans to expand and grow the retailer’s clinical services and offerings through its trained pharmacy teams.
• Long-term care — enhancing offerings and services and advancing partnerships and relationships with key providers in the communities and surrounding areas Thrifty White serves.
• Marketing — growing in the communities the retailer serves through partnerships with key groups and organizations within the community and surrounding areas.
“Certainly the continued challenges we see are maintaining and gaining access to patients,” Weippert adds. “Reimbursement concerns, access to payor networks and drug distribution availability in the specialty space are also challenges.”
Weippert says all of these marks continue to be “a moving target,” with much left to be determined at both the state and federal levels. Continued focus on patient access and care will be vital to the role of pharmacy in the communities and neighborhoods the company serves.
A little more than two years ago, Thrifty White began integrating front end and pharmacy into its new Healthy Outcomes format. Today, more than 40 stores have been converted into the new format and many new Thrifty White Healthy Outcomes locations have opened. These stores are designed to be patient-centric, driving outcomes through more direct accessibility to the pharmacy team through additional clinical service offerings, added clinical suites, Ask your Pharmacist stations, and enhanced pickup and drop-off areas within these stores.
“Great emphasis is put on our brick-and-mortar stores, our new Healthy Outcomes format and face-to-face interactions in all the communities we serve,” Weippert says. “To enhance our front-of-store offerings, Thrifty White’s Online Drugstore serves as our e-commerce site and is available to all customers, to add to the breadth of front-end offerings to our customers.”
Along with potential acquisitions within and outside the regions it serves, Thrifty White’s growth avenue will be through the company’s “own your business/own your community” approach, which incorporates Thrifty White marketing teams and local pharmacy/management teams into its communities and furthers engagement with community organizations and partners to grow patient access and prescription count through the company’s clinical services offerings and programs, such as its well-established RxMedSync program and newly released Healthy Outcomes Diabetes Support program.