Community Pharmacy Comes Out from Behind the Virtual Counter to Take On $8bn Rite Aid

Terry Veillon, retired U.S. Marine and owner of iCARE Community Pharmacy and Gifts in Lafayette, Louisiana opened his first store in late 2012. He selected RxWiki’s Digital Pharmacist Platform to manage his digital presence, including website, mobile app, online refills, pharmacist dashboard and Facebook account management, “another community pharmacist recommended it to me and I liked the fact that there wasn’t an annual contract commitment, that was a big deal at the time. We stuck with it because we see a good return.”

Fast forward four years, Terry now has two stores, seven full-time employees, two pharmacists and serves over a thousand patients every month. More than a hundred patients complete refill prescriptions via iCare’s branded website and app, powered by Digital Pharmacist. Despite stiff competition from the Rite Aid next door, iCare is thriving. When asked how he is holding his own against the $8 billion NYSE pharmacy goliath, Terry says, “we come out from behind the counter, our customers like our old time feel. Unlike the big box stores, our pharmacy counter is in the front of the store, we are personal and we guide our patients through their therapy, giving each patient personal care and attention. We aren’t aisle store people.”

Terry sees iCare’s digital platform as a virtual extension of his come out from behind the counter philosophy, “I encourage my patients to use my website and app 24/7, they don’t have to wait and I don’t have to worry that I will miss their call.” Terry, who says he used to carry two phones to make sure he didn’t miss those calls after hours, gets excited when he sees prescriptions arrive from his website or app, he points out that those messages are an indication that patients outside of the store are thinking of his brand at all times of the day or night. When the refill prescriptions come in via fax, he can manage them in real time and his team feels accountable, “if the prescriptions came in via email, likely they would get lost, we like the visibility of a fax messages we receive from our app and website.”

Although Terry is eyeing the billboard outside of Rite Aid for a fall advertising campaign, presumably to put the proverbial thumb in Goliath’s eye, he does not advertise his store extensively. Word of mouth and his RxWiki Digital Pharmacist managed Facebook program helps drive awareness. Since January, his brand has been viewed a whopping 31,381 times on Facebook by potential patients who live within 10 mile of his store, “It’s extremely well targeted, we get locals seeing it, I would do more of this if we had the time,” he comments. In addition to running iCare’s Facebook advertising campaigns to reach new local patients, RxWiki’s social media team creates custom content for iCare’s Facebook conversation with existing patients.

Terry rounded out the conversation by saying, “I’m very open to new ideas, I like growing with a company that is growing with me. The service from the RxWiki team has been excellent.” Terry will start utilizing RxWiki’s Digital Pharmacist’s newsletter platform this spring, a new feature that is now available to all RxWiki clients.

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