Helping Community Pharmacists Be Prepared for Whatever Is Next


Chuck Wilson shares what Health Mart is doing to continue the legacy of pharmacy within the community while not getting in the way of independent success.

According to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, "change is the only constant in life."

No where is this truer than the field of community pharmacy. When you consider that this change impacts people and their health on a daily basis, evolving the keep up and be successful is vital. At McKesson ideaShare 2023, Chuck Wilson, vice president of retail operations and program management at Health Mart, said that change in community pharmacy is “perpetual.”

Wilson is not new to this world. In an interview with Drug Topics, conducted at McKesson ideaShare2023, held June 22 to 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada, he reflected on the changes he’s watched community pharmacy undergo over the last few decades. “If you look at community pharmacy—and I work with independents, but community pharmacy in general, it’s always been impacted by change,” Wilson said. “You can go back 20 years and look at Medicare Part D, for example. That brought a lot of change and made drugs more available. Follow that up with STAR ratings, and you’ll see how much things are changing.”

Of course, the community pharmacy world—like everything and everyone else—had to change in ways people never expected when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Wilson mentioned that community pharmacy rose to the occasion, serving as front-line healthcare providers offering access to testing and vaccines. As a result, the future of the field has evolved.

“I visited a pharmacist and we were talking about opportunities and things that help them thrive, and he made the comment that ‘Well, we've been doing it this way since my grandfather.’ And while that's a great legacy, there are opportunities out there that you might be missing out on now, and that's where we can help. While they're focused on the customer across the counter we’re helping them look toward the future.”

Chuck Wilson, vice president of retail operations and program management, Health Mart

Chuck Wilson, vice president of retail operations and program management, Health Mart

Health Mart saw those changes firsthand and has continued working with community pharmacies across the country as they enter a new age of health care delivery. “Independent pharmacies consider themselvesresponsible for the health of their communities,” he said. “They’ve been there, sometimes for generations, and the care that they provide and the approach they take, brings huge value to the community.”

Wilson said that the goal of Health Mart is to help our pharmacies be successful. “Through Health Mart, we can provide access to more tools and services to help them practice at the top of their license.”

Wilson explained that Health Mart understands the history of independent pharmacy and all that these businesses provide. Working in collaboration with the people who have created that legacy is essential for getting things right.

“They're not just out there meeting a retail function,” Wilson said. “They're just not selling something, but actually using their license at a higher level, providing that additional level of care to their patients. And that's where the future is.”

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