BURNABY, British Columbia — Peoples Drug Mart has ceased operations as a pharmacy group.
The network’s independently owned 45 drug stores will operate under new banners, said Mark Dickson, who was Peoples’ interim chief executive officer.
Dickson blamed the group’s demise after 41 years on the continued squeeze on pharmacy margins across Canada.
Coping with the pressure requires banners to operate with scale, he said, “and increasingly national scale is needed.”
Peoples ended operations on March 24. Most members have chosen a new banner and are transitioning to the new name.
As of mid-March, 20 had joined PharmaChoice, seven went to Pharmasave Drugs, six went with McKesson Canada’s I.D.A./Guardian or Remedy’sRx, six linked up with an independent wholesaler, one joined Shoppers Drug Mart and five were undecided.
Peoples’ stores, all in British Columbia, included the 4,000-square-foot Peoples Drug Mart format and the 1,500-square-foot Peoples Pharmacy format.
Peoples’ owner-operators had, for the most part, embraced the new model of pharmacy practice, which goes beyond dispensing prescriptions to encompass a host of health care services, including medication reviews, smoking cessation, vaccinations and compounding.
One of the strengths of the group was its blend of experience and youth behind the counter. Several of the group’s owner-pharmacists had 25 or more years with Peoples.