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Pharmacies with more than One Location? 

A Comprehensive Technology System is Essential for Visibility and Efficiency 

In an August 2020 podcast interview, Hari Sabnani, president and chief executive officer of Puerto Rico’s largest independent pharmacy chain spoke about some of the challenges of folding 14 retail pharmacies into a single, functioning operation. “As we worked to get financing,” he explained, “the bankers and external auditors told us we needed a robust system to manage inventory, with complete visibility into what we had, with the ability to track electronically purchasing and dispensing activity.” Insurance providers, he noted, had additional concerns, including strong verification points and a dispensing system that ensured “very low rates of error.” 

Sabnani’s pharmacy network is called Alivia Health and included among its 17 facilities are two specialty pharmacies, one that caters to patients in need of IV products, and another that focuses on the needs of oncology patients and other specialty conditions. The network also includes a store that only offers home delivery. It’s a diverse network, with many moving parts, all operating under the Alivia Network umbrella. 

Essentially, Sabnani explained, he needed a centralized vision to bring all these parts together. “We needed a way of having metrics and dashboards, with all our data front and center. We needed to see reporting in a centralized way, rather than managing each store as a separate business.” 

The concerns expressed by Hari Sabnani are shared by the estimated 32 percent of independent pharmacy owners who operate at least two stores. As with any multi-store retail endeavor, multiple pharmacies means increased staffing and operational expenses, separate inventories, increased customer responsibilities, ensuring top notch customer service, bottom line considerations, and a multitude of other headaches to manage.