A new partnership with Gold Standard/Elsevier has solidified Thrifty White Pharmacy’s efforts to bring big-city services to its small-town customer base, which is spread across five states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa and Montana.
The Maple Grove, Minn.-based chain of 84 stores recently licensed Alchemy, a new drug database and decision support solution, for all of its pharmacy and telepharmacy dispensing systems. The new partnership will enable the chain to streamline its prescription filling process and provide drug information to pharmacists instantly.
“Thrifty White is committed to providing health care to populations where access to pharmacy services is limited. We believe that the pharmacist is a great resource, especially to patients in rural communities,” said Gary Boehler, EVP pharmacy for Thrifty White.
The move comes as the chain faces increased pressure from big-box stores that have been moving into its territory. After about five decades, the chain closed its store in Hastings, Minn., and sold it to Walgreens, which had opened a store just a block away. Walgreens also bought another of its stores in Mound, Minn.
Closing stores is not a usual practice for the chain, which opened four stores, including moving into a vacant Wolff Drug location in Pierz, Minn., over the past six months.
In addition to its core employee-owned stores, the company also serves a growing cadre of independent retailers, currently numbering 63 stores, including 12 Dahl’s and six Witt Pharmacies.
Looking to differentiate itself from the competition, the chain has successfully partnered with the College of Pharmacy at North Dakota State University and its pharmacy students. The pair opened the Thrifty White Concept Pharmacy, which emphasizes a retail community pharmacy practice.
Another area that the small regional has been on the leading edge in is the infusion business it operates out of a central location.