Drug Store News spoke with Eyad Farah, senior director of retail product development for McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, on the launch of a customizable, consumer-facing mobile solution for independent pharmacy operators that will be tied to its Your Pharmacy Online service. The app will officially debut in late summer and Farah explains what it means for Health Mart owners.
DSN: What is behind launching the app, what does that do for independent pharmacists?
Farah: If you think of the consumers today, they’re on the go [and] they want to be able to do everything online. They seek health information. They look for providers and online reviews. Script management is one more service that they’re looking for online. … A lot of consumers who have smartphones prefer apps and [we’re] basically creating that option for those customers who want it. The mobile app is one more option.
DSN: This sounds like an opportunity for independent pharmacy to bring omnichannel functionality to their patients.
Farah: That’s one of the reasons for developing the app. We can meet the customers where they are, in the way or the channel they prefer — a mobile app, a web site or a mobile-optimized web site. As we think of the options we’re providing [today], we can build on top of that integrated solution that has all three components.
DSN: What are the functionalities?
Farah: We wanted to give the basic functionality or features that replicate what a patient can do on the web site today, which is really around requesting a refill, setting up a refill reminder and being able to receive notifications from the pharmacy. … There is a long list of future functionalities and features that we would like to see in the app. A pill reminder, for example.
DSN: When you think about the enormity of online investments how does that translate to the independent pharmacy?
Farah: If you think of the capabilities of the larger chains and their online and mobile presence, to try to replicate that for each independent pharmacy is almost impossible. That’s one of the big benefits of Your Pharmacy Online, where you get [direct] access to a comprehensive online and mobile solution that has advanced capabilities at a very cost-effective rate of $59 per month.