LINTHICUM, Md. — The unique operating model of Care Pharmacies Cooperative has been the key to the company’s record growth, says chief executive officer Michael Wysong.
The company’s unique operating structure, he says, allows its members to take full advantage of the logistical and operational efficiencies of the chain while maintaining their uniqueness as independent pharmacy owners and clinicians.
Care Pharmacies, composed of 82 community retail and specialty pharmacies across the country, focuses on providing its stores with the latest tools to compete favorably while never losing focus on improving patient outcomes, according to Wysong.
One of the company’s main focuses for 2016 was improving strategic sourcing relationships.
“We attribute part of our growth to some of these strategic partnerships, to include a new pharmaceutical supply agreement and other key sourcing partnerships with regional drug chains to help further meet the needs of our member pharmacies,” Wysong says.
“Beyond sourcing, our company is busy building partnerships with regional payers to pilot new transitional care programs. We believe that the new models of patient-centric care are worthy of our attention and play directly into our organization’s inherent strengths,” he explains. “If we are successful in helping our partners better control their costs by improving adherence and driving better patient outcomes, then everyone wins in that equation.”
Wysong notes that, as can be seen throughout the industry, Care Pharmacies has faced its challenges, primarily the economic and competitive pressure being felt by payers, providers, consumers and manufacturers.
“When you couple that with the uncertainty of a new administration, one could argue that this is the most dynamic time in the history of pharmacy,” he says.
Nevertheless, Wysong believes there is likely going to be a continued refinement of the provider models, which will force retail pharmacy to carry a more impactful role within the health care continuum.
Care Pharmacies set records in 2016, Wysong points out. “We were named a Hot 100 retailer for the year by the National Retail Federation.”
Care Pharmacies saw 20% growth in sales, netting $689 million in sales across all stores, with 95% of that amount, $654.5 million, coming from pharmacy sales, Wysong notes.
“We also watched our geographic footprint expand out to 17 states, and we saw our specialty pharmacy network grow,” he says, adding that “with the continued growth of specialty pharmacy and our desire to meet the unique needs of our customers, we expect to have close to 90 stores by the end of 2017.”
Wysong believes Care Pharmacies is favorably positioned moving forward, and he expects the company to take on a larger role within the communities it serves.
“We think our unique operating model, coupled with our expertise in specialty pharmacy, has us favorably positioned to continue the unprecedented growth trend that we have experienced over the last five years,” he says.