Drug Store News speaks with Jim Wonderly, VP pharmacy at Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Ahold USA.
Drug Store News: With the reorganization of Ahold USA there seems to be a real effort to get more localized in each market. Does that mean changes in the pharmacy?
Jim Wonderly: I think the reorganization will really help us to be even more in touch with our local customers. Like any other department, pharmacy certainly will be part of the reorganization. When it’s all done, we’ll be a much stronger organization that’s extremely focused on the customer.
DrSN: Ahold is known for providing more than just prescriptions to its customers—the flu inoculation program comes to mind. Are there other initiatives coming in 2010 in any of the divisions?
Wonderly: Yes, there is going to be a continued focus on integrating pharmacy into the food store.… It’s going to go beyond just conversation and convert to action in 2010.… [For example,] when you look at the top 10 drugs we dispense, there’s a fair amount of them that require dietary changes to be completely effective.
We also are moving forward quickly to expand our base of pharmacists who can provide immunizations. We expanded that base dramatically last year, and we anticipate expanding it again this year. We want to continue to make that a key piece of our pharmacy offerings going forward.
This was a very unique flu season, obviously. I don’t know if that will be repeated in 2010, but I think we’ve learned a lot from 2009. And that is going to allow us to provide even more effective service in 2010, as it relates not just to immunizations but to other areas.