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Bruce Kneeland is on the hunt for unique indie pharmacies across the country.
Before this year is over, Bruce Kneeland and his wife, Donna, plan to drive nearly 5,000 miles to visit independent pharmacies throughout middle America.
The trip will take Kneeland, a retired pharmacy consultant and drug wholesale executive, to select pharmacies in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Bruce and Donna Kneeland with IPC's Don Anderson
So why is he doing it? Kneeland will document how independent pharmacies continue to thrive, despite inadequate reimbursements and increasing competition from retail chains and mail-order pharmacies.
The pharmacies Kneeland will visit were nominated as examples of that success by state pharmacy association executives and field-based wholesaler and buying groups.
He began his journey in May after the Independent Pharmacy Conference (IPC) in Santa Fe, N.M. He will present his findings in a continuing education lecture at October's Annual Conference and Trade Exposition of the National Community Pharmacists Association in New Orleans.
"Taking off from Santa Fe is a perfect springboard for the trip," said Kneeland.
IPC is sponsoring his trip. "This is the second road trip of Kneeland's that IPC has sponsored, and we are thrilled to be able to support this one," said Don Anderson, IPC's president and CEO.
Anderson said he hopes Kneeland's findings will encourage independent pharmacies throughout the country to implement management and marketing practices proven to be successful.
Kneeland said he's been impressed with innovative ideas and niches that independents have carved out to succeed. He cited one pharmacy that works directly with an employer group to provide MTM services; another that teams with a local hospital to help lower readmission rates; and a third that has created a satellite delivery service to help people in rural areas.