Supermarket Pharmacies Improve Services

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The Food Marketing Institute'sReport from the 2004 Supermarket PharmacySurvey has found positive changesacross supermarket pharmacies. Withthese pharmacies expanding throughoutthe United States, companies aretackling pharmacist shortages, expandingInternet offerings, improving electronicprescribing (E-prescribing) capabilities,and developing new strategiestargeting pharmacy consumers, thesurvey indicated.

In 2003, only 13% of food retailcompanies reported the need to reducepharmacy hours because of lack ofpharmacist staffing, compared with33.3% in 2002. The survey respondentscredited the decline to improvedrecruiting and training initiatives, bettercompensation packages, and agreater number of students graduatingfrom pharmacy schools.

The Internet has become a source ofgrowth for supermarket pharmacies.The survey showed that 87% of supermarketshave Web sites, with the vastmajority (88%) offering pharmacyinformation, including hours of service,prescription refills, and general healthinformation. E-prescribing capabilityalso is expanding. Almost 20% of thesurvey respondents reported the abilityto receive E-prescriptions from physicians,and an additional 44% anticipatethis service to be in place by the end ofthis year. Furthermore, two thirds of thepharmacies promote E-prescribing tophysicians in the marketplace.