CARE builds customer loyalty

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —In keeping with its dual nature as both a franchise chain and a group of independent pharmacies, CARE Pharmacies is a member of both the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The company has used its inside-the-Beltway presence—including roughly a dozen franchised pharmacies in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in Alexandria, Va.—to good advantage, hosting lawmakers and press conferences at area pharmacies to press its case for greater pharmacy representation at the nation’s healthcare table. CARE also serves as a source for prescriptions for many congressional lawmakers.

CARE now operates more than 50 traditional and specialty pharmacies. Its heaviest concentration of outlets is in Washington, Virginia and Maryland, but its store presence ranges as far as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

CARE is a unique business. Its franchised independent store owners also are shareholders, with individual stakes in the CARE enterprise itself. In return for their investment, they get membership in a purchasing and marketing organization with a strong reputation for clinical care, counseling, personal attention to patients and even specialty drug therapy.

“All pharmacies in the CARE franchise are branded consistently with the CARE Pharmacies Inc. logo, tagline and visual theme,” the company noted. “CARE corporate provides shareholder pharmacies with marketing support and opportunities both at the individual pharmacy level and as a franchised group.”

Franchisees are expected to maintain high standards of care for their patients. “Counseling is an important component of health care. All CARE pharmacies provide consultative services free of charge,” asserted Gerry Crocker, CARE CEO. “This is a critical part of aiding patients with adherence and compliance.”