Columbus, OH – 1/27/21.
How many of you reading this can say that you have a major chain pharmacy within a mile of where you live, or 5 miles? However you define “close” in your geographic world, most of us can access one of these store easily. Now, how many of you reading this have a meaningful, first-name-basis rapport with the managing pharmacists or techs in-store? Probably a lot less of us can give an affirmative response to that question.
In recent years, our on-the-go culture has increasingly embraced an insistence on convenience above nearly all other values. This is understandable, to a degree. Modern life is busy! We don’t have time to drive all around to find basic supplies and essential medications. We need to know we can drop in and pick something up in a few minutes’ time.
But, what is sacrificed in that interaction? Think about some of the other decisions you make in your life as a consumer of goods and services. Do you have a neighborhood restaurant you frequent where you know you can always get a table? Do you prefer to use a local mechanic instead of the dealership because you trust the advice and prices you’re getting? Those relationships matter because you know you’re getting quality.
There are additional logistical and administrative considerations. It’s not uncommon for insurance carriers to limit the pharmacies where you can get covered prescriptions. The chains further tempt you with coupons and discounts, making it the path of least resistance.
We, along with the tens of thousands of independent community pharmacists in the United States, still think there’s a better way. Pharmacy care, at its core, is and should be about more than dispensing medication, anyway. Your pharmacist is a highly trained, highly skilled healthcare professional, who is eager to support your care management.
This is about supporting the community pharmacist, too, along with the patient. We’re here to help tell their story. Tell how family-owned businesses like Apple Discount Drugs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore employ certified diabetes educators and host classes for patients. How networks like EPIC Pharmacies are proactively sourcing and distributing telemedicine and other digital solutions, which takes convenience and wraps it up with quality in an accessible, transparent, robust virtual platform. Employers small, medium, and large who are on the lookout for ways to reduce costs and enable their employees to get help.
We’re into big-picture thinking. Convenience is here to stay, as it should be, as long as it’s part of a strategic plan to support consumers’ needs, support independent businesses providing high-quality services, and support the communities we all call home.
Health In Motion Network delivers a consumer-centric, digitally enhanced healthcare ecosystem, enabling centralized and personalized, pharmacist-driven care management, empowering consumer choice and optimizing clinical outcomes.