Family Pharmacy feels its services set the company apart. A family owned and operated full-service pharmacy, the company offers processing of while-you-wait prescriptions in as little as five to 10 minutes. Adding to customer convenience, Family Pharmacy’s locations offer customer parking at the front door and drive-thru window service. In addition, the company has a 24/7 emergency on-call service for prescription customers, as well as online refill ordering.
“Today we fill around 5,000 to 8,000 prescriptions per day,” Morris says. “About 90 percent of our volume is prescription and 10 percent is over-the-counter.”
Other services offered at Family Pharmacy locations include UPS shipping, digital photo print kiosks , a full line of health and beauty aids and a wide selection of unique gifts, home décor and greeting cards.
In addition to traditional retail and pharmacy offerings, Family Pharmacy, through its durable medical equipment division, offers respiratory services that include home oxygen, sleep apnea treatment, nebulized medications, patient education and 24/7 on-call clinical support.
“We believe in services like free delivery and taking care of hospice patients with 24/7 on-call service. We make it a point to address our customers by name, get to know their families and what is going on in their lives,” Morris says.
Family Pharmacy’s Healthcare Services division serves nursing and residential care facilities with a dedicated Long Term Care (LTC) pharmacy practice. In addition, its durable medical equipment offerings include a complete line of home medical supplies, ostomy products, compression therapy garments, custom-fitted diabetic shoes, hospital beds, walkers, power mobility, wheelchairs and lift chairs. The division offers many of the items for sale or rent, as well as equipment repair.
Beyond that, Family Pharmacy offers prescription compounding services, health screenings, blood pressure checks and vaccinations, including flu, pneumonia and shingles.
“We’ve always explored the niche areas where big chains are slow to react,” Morris says. “We were able to handle thousands of Medicare Part D patients in that program’s first year. We were the first to add counseling rooms where patients can meet privately with their pharmacist to discuss health information and medications. Our compounding pharmacy recently expanded, allowing additional capabilities for compounds and infusions. The extensive capabilities of the compounding facility can be connected to any store location through our privately operated courier network.”
In the Game
Making those kinds of commitments are how Family Pharmacy stays competitive. It operates its own warehouse in order to harness the leverage of bulk buying power. Family Pharmacy has connected its locations with a daily courier service, allowing for quick inventory transfer. The flexibility of multiple locations and divisions ensures that patients’ needs are always met.
“We’ve been doing online ordering for several years, but we’ve found that many customers appreciate out prompt in-store service,” Morris says. “Many people like to go inside the pharmacy to visit with part of their caregiver team and take advantage of our other offerings. Although we invest heavily in technology and adapt to the trends in our business, we are careful not to lose the culture of personal service that has been the cornerstone of our business model.”
In addition, the company has invested in automation on the back end of the pharmacy to bolster efficiency. “We don’t automate to reduce employees, we automate to allow our employees to better do their jobs and interact with our customers,” Morris adds.
Looking forward, more and more medications in the development pipeline are considered specialty drugs. The new class of medications requires different equipment, administration, knowledge and facility than what is found in a traditional retail pharmacy. Morris notes the trend and mentions Family Pharmacy has already set plans in motion to open the first specialty pharmacy in Southwest Missouri.
In the end, Family Pharmacy has been able to compete because it offers personalized care and accessible pharmacists and staff. By adding diverse services without sacrificing core competencies, it has been able to keep up with changing times and continue to meet the needs of its communities.
Morris says tremendous employees and the experience resulting from extremely low turnover not only empower delivery of top-notch service but also will be an asset as the company moves to expand its footprint in the coming years.
In fact, Family Pharmacy’s goal is to expand beyond the company’s southwest Missouri roots. The LTC division is already working in neighboring states, and the retail pharmacy division is poised for growth in surrounding communities and beyond.
“Independent pharmacies face a lot of roadblocks,” Morris says regarding the state of the market. “I am a state legislator in Missouri, and I want to help providers participate in any contract or network as long as they are licensed, follow the rules and accept pricing.
“I truly believe transparency, prompt payment and fair audit practice bills can help small pharmacies in our state grow and serve communities,” he adds.