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Walgreens' new "Well Experience" stores feature the pharmacist being out on the floor, and the concept is working very well.
The "Well Experience Format" pilot program recently launched in about 70 Walgreens stores in the Indianapolis market and about 20 in the Chicago area.
As part of the new format, the pharmacist sits at a desk that juts out from the pharmacy counter. Electronically, he or she is able to fill and monitor prescriptions, while being available to consult with patients. "If we want to move the profession forward, we have to demonstrate the value that pharmacists can offer. You have to bring them out of the production environment and talking to patients. We can demonstrate to payers that we can effectively help to lower their healthcare costs," said Michael Polzin, spokesman for Walgreens.
Before the pilot stores opened, Walgreens' executives worked closely with the Illinois Board of Pharmacy and the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, which had to alter their existing regulations to allow for the new format. "Both boards have been very pleasantly surprised at how well it has worked," Polzin said. "We have demonstrated the effectiveness that we thought could result from this format."
Thanks to the program's success, Walgreens will open pilot stores in other U.S. locations (yet to be announced) this year.