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PharmaChoice drug store banner reaches milestone

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Canadian drug store cooperative PharmaChoice has surpassed 600 locations, making it the country’s second-largest independent pharmacy banner.

PharmaChoice said Monday that it has nearly doubled its store count in the past five years. The member-owned co-op, which has head offices in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (PharmaChoice East), and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (PharmaChoice West), offers participating community pharmacies such services as volume buying, marketing, private label, technology and shared best practices.

PharmaChoice_City of Lakes_Dartmouth, NS

The City of Lakes PharmaChoice store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

“PharmaChoice is proud to have earned a leadership position in our country’s crowded pharmacy landscape,” PharmaChoice East chief executive officer Calvin LeRoux said in a statement.

LeRoux and a group of key owners founded PharmaChoice in 1999. “We are confident that PharmaChoice is the program that provides independents with the best return on their investment, and we believe our rapid growth is proof of that.”

Grady Brown, CEO of PharmaChoice West, noted that PharmaChoice has fueled its growth via comprehensive program support, operational flexibility and a proven financial model.

“If a member is looking for true independence, ultimate flexibility and a solid support system, look no further,” Brown stated. “We truly respect our owners’ entrepreneurial spirits while offering them the comprehensive set of tools required to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.”

PharmaChoice’s pharmacy services include medication reviews, one-on-one pharmacist consultation, specialty Rx packaging, prescription delivery, flu shots and other immunizations, pharmacy compounding, prescribing for minor ailments and home health care.

In the front of the store, PharmaChoice offers independent pharmacies the Option+ private label, which includes hundreds of products at prices lower than national brands, and the Perks rewards program, which provides instant savings and rewards — or “Perks” — for every $10 spent. There’s also a coupon program for customers.

Brown and LeRoux pointed out that PharmaChoice’s increased presence helps make affordable health care services more accessible to Canadians, and the pharmacy cooperative provides economic benefits in the communities where it operatives.

“Even in 2016, the pharmacy remains a pillar in many rural communities,” Brown commented. “Our locations, especially in more remote settings, provide job creation and access to services that residents may not have otherwise.”

With the changes in today’s health care environment, the role of the community pharmacist has become more important than ever before, LeRoux added. “Canada’s aging population coupled with our shortage of physicians and immense wait times positions pharmacists as vital practitioners who are the front line for patients when they are sick or in pain,” he stated.

Continued consolidation in the pharmacy sector stands to help drive PharmaChoice’s growth, as independents will need the resource and visibility of a national brand to help level the competitive playing field, according to LeRoux and Brown.

“As we continue to see more pharmacy reform, we believe the unaffiliated will need to find a home,” LeRoux observed. “So long as pharmacy owners are seeking transparency and maximum value, we are confident that we will continue to grow.”


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