Pharmacist Society welcomes Rite Aid

NEW YORK — Rite Aid “likes” this.

Rite Aid became the first drug store retailer to “friend” Pharmacist Society powered by Drug Store News earlier this month, unlocking a host of new tools and functionalities for its pharmacists, and providing the company an entirely new way of connecting with pharmacy students all across the country.

The pharmacy-professional-only portal (members and their e-mails are screened by a live administrator) at PharmacistSociety.com combines networking, continuing education, employment resources and other core services in a single, regulated-user environment. All pharmacy news and continuing education are syndicated from DSN and DSN Pharmacy Practice, an ACPE-accredited continuing education resource that serves more than 100,000 retail pharmacists.

“We are excited about the opportunities Pharmacist Society presents, as we think the site will offer value and information to pharmacy professionals, pharmacists and pharmacy students,” said Dan Miller, Rite Aid SVP pharmacy operations.

The Pharmacist Society is more than a hybrid social media/professional networking platform, however. In addition to connecting pharmacists with each other, individual companies can establish a presence on the site. For example, an organization can communicate directly with pharmacy professionals who opt in to its page. Organizations also have the ability to create separate, private, “members-only” areas for more internal communications, explained Pharmacist Society creator Ted Search, a pharmacist and president and CEO of Skipta, which has partnered with DSN on the launch of PharmacistSociety.com .

In addition to attracting one of the nation’s leading pharmacy retailers to the site, Pharmacist Society powered by Drug Store News also has captured the interest of several pharmacy schools, including the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

And pharmacy students also are eager to interact with potential future employers. “As a student, the biggest value behind a tool like Pharmacist Society is the technological integration of all of the tools that we use as young pharmacy professionals,” said Brian Straub, a Pitt pharmacy student and student president of the Pharmacist Society’s National Student Leaders board, a group comprised entirely of students to help ensure Pharmacist Society remains relevant to students, one of its prime target users. “This is for pharmacists—made by pharmacists,” Straub said. “Not only do we have the connectivity [similar to other networking sites like Facebook], but we also have the clinical tools—the continuing education credits, for example.”

The site already is mobile-ready and is compatible with iPad, iPhone and Android mobile applications, which is critical in terms of connecting with pharmacy students, who have been fast to adopt these new technologies, noted Nick Doherty, co-founder and president of social media for Skipta.

“For years, Rite Aid has led the movement to position pharmacists as healthcare professionals that work closely with patients to improve health outcomes, reduce costs and help people live longer, healthier lives,” said DSN VP and group publisher John Kenlon. “Pharmacist Society gives pharmacists the tools they need to accomplish this critical mission—important information and continuing education on disease states, sharing best practices with fellow pharmacists across the country and keeping up-to-date on the latest products and therapies available to help make a difference in their patients’ lives.”

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