Publix Super Markets has won industry praise for its pharmacy operations, recognition that comes as more food retailers are boosting their prescription and health care offerings.
This week, Publix said that it recently received the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award, from Zitter Insights, itself a division of Managed Markets Insights & Technology (MMIT). The award was for the Retail Pharmacy category, and marks the first time Publix has earned this particular honor.
MMIT created the Specialty Pharmacy Patient Choice Award “to honor specialty pharmacies and their commitment to patients,” Publix said. Awards go to one winner and one finalist in each of these categories: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and Payer Specialty Pharmacy, Hospital and Health System Specialty Pharmacy, Independent Specialty Pharmacy, and Retail Pharmacy. Winners were determined by scores accumulated during quarterly surveys, with criteria set by a committee composed of representatives from pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans, PBMs, trade organizations, consultants and equity research firms.
Publix operates not only a standard pharmacy, but also a dual-accredited specialty pharmacy that dispenses relatively complex medications not typically available at traditional pharmacies, such as drugs that treat rare diseases.
“Our specialty pharmacy associates help customers with all aspects of starting and staying on therapy, including providing clinical support and seeking financial assistance to offset some costs,” said Publix VP of Pharmacy Dain Rusk. “We are proud to be recognized by our customers for our commitment to their health and well-being.”
Health care Expansions
Publix doesn’t offer medications to just human beings.
Early in July, the food retail chain started to fill pet medications at its locations in Florida, many of which are eligible for home delivery through its partnership with ScriptDrop. The grocer started delivering prescriptions not requiring refrigeration in May during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery costs $5 and is available within a 5-mile radius of each pharmacy location. Customers who receive a text message when prescriptions are ready will receive a link to pay in advance for their prescriptions and choose delivery, making the transaction contactless.
Other major food retailers are also trying to offer more pharmacy and health care services. Walmart offers one recent example: This week, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain revealed that its its Walmart Health concept will expand to Florida next year. The centers offer key health care services at low, transparent prices, regardless of whether patients are insured.
Lakeland, Florida-based Publix, with 1,239 locations in the Southeast, is No. 12 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top grocers in the United States. Walmart is No. 1 on the list.