One of the unique aspects of EPIC is its deep roots in building a consumer brand that touts the advantages of locally owned drug stores. To help accomplish this goal, Angelo Voxakis, president and CEO, said that in 2007 EPIC invested $2 million in consumer advertising to support its 650 primary members. And it is clear that the company’s Web site has been designed with the consumer in mind.
With 3,300 members, the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative is the largest of the independent pharmacy organizations. And, early this year, the organization made it clear that it was not ready to rest on its laurels but was seeking to enhance its services and grow even larger by bringing in a new CEO with a long history of success in retail pharmacy.
Since 2006 PBA Health has grown from slightly more than 1,000 members to 1,800, making it the fastest-growing major pharmacy group, according to Nick Smock, CEO of the Kansas City, Mo.-based cooperative. One of the things that made this growth possible is the organization’s realization that, while buying “right” will always be a key element of success for any pharmacy, two other areas are just as important: operational excellence and effective marketing.
United Drugs and the Associated Pharmacies Inc. on Feb. 23 announced that the organizations’ boards of directors voted to merge. If the merger is approved, the new group’s membership will exceed 2,000.
One of the reasons the American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. has been successful is because its board of directors is actively involved in setting the goals and objectives of the organization and “making sure everything the organization does is focused on making its members successful,” according to Tim Hamrick, CEO of the 25-year-old, 1,300-member group headquartered in Bessemer, Ala.