Kerr Drug CEO Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

By Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor

Tony Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug, has been recognized as the Health Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Winner by Triangle Business Journal.

Civello was honored for decades of work aimed at improving the quality of care in the community. Since he began his career with Thrift Drug in 1965, he has demonstrated leadership in the drug store industry and has worked proactively to refocus chain drug retailing in the health care field and improve the relationship between pharmacists and physicians.

“Pharmacists are totally underutilized in health care,” said Civello. “Now more than ever, just handing a bag of medicine to somebody and ringing them up isn’t a good use of their education. The best and most cost effective way to improve the health care system is to have pharmacists and physicians working together for the overall benefit of patients.”

In 1997, Civello led a group that purchased Kerr Drug. Since then, he has led the transformation of the North Carolina institute from a business-centered model centered on delivering prescriptions to one that includes clinical services such as immunizations and medication therapy management. Civello believes Kerr Drug pharmacists should be active in patient counseling, chronic disease management, and interacting with physicians.

“Pharmacists are extremely well prepared to be a part of health care, especially with the increasing needs for health care professionals and treating an aging population,” adds Civello.

In addition to its retail stores across the state, Kerr Drug has expanded its reach and developed other health related operations, including Kerr Health, a services provider focused on areas including Specialty Pharmacy, Long Term Care Pharmacy, and Care Management.

Kerr Drug was named the top chain pharmacy three years in a row by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care, and its innovative Community Health Care Center was named Retail Concept of the Year in 2008.