The distributor is eying increased sales to pharmacies with the launch of a new digital service, NavixRx, that helps them manage prescription orders. It also introduced a new online storefront that pharmacies can use to sell over-the-counter products to consumers.

A big distributor of healthcare products aims to drive more business with independent pharmacies through digital services.

NavixRx allows pharmacists to outsource the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of compliance packaging.
Debbie Weitzman, president, pharmaceutical distribution and The Medicine Shoppe International Inc.
Cardinal Health
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Debbie Weitzman, president, pharmaceutical distribution and The Medicine Shoppe International Inc., at Cardinal Health

Cardinal Health Inc., which generated total revenue of $162.5 billion in fiscal 2021, including $145.8 billion from its pharmaceutical business, has rolled out two new digital services for independent pharmacies:  NavixRx for managing prescription orders, and E-Commerce Storefront as a digital platform that pharmacies can use to sell over-the-counter products direct to consumers.

NavixRx provides independent pharmacies with digital tools for better managing compliance packaging for patients taking two or more prescriptions daily.

There are 21,106 independent pharmacies in the U.S., according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

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Many independent pharmacies are small businesses that, on average, dispense 57,414prescriptions dispensed per pharmacy location and generate about$3.4 million in annual prescription drug sales, the association says.

But small independent pharmacies only have limited technology budgets and many still may not be fully automated, especially for ecommerce.

Managing multiple patient prescriptions that must adhere to strict compliance package requirements from the Food and Drug Administration also can be expensive, says Cardinal Health. “It can take up to 25 minutes to fill a compliance package by hand, and machines that automate the process can cost more than $250,000,” says Debbie Weitzman, president, pharmaceutical distribution, and The Medicine Shoppe International Inc., at Cardinal Health. “NavixRx allows pharmacists to outsource the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of compliance packaging.”

NavixRx integrates with the druggist’s pharmacy management system. Once connected, pharmacists send prescriptions to a fulfillment center, in Lewisville, Texas, where Cardinal Health pharmacists fill prescriptions, by the dose, into a 30-day supply of strip packs.

Over-the-counter medications and vitamins can be added to the daily strip packs with the prescriptions. Multiple quality checks, including digital imaging, are performed at the fulfillment center to confirm the contents of each package before sending the compliance strips back to the pharmacy for delivery to the patient, says Cardinal Health.

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Cardinal Health has yet to say how many independent pharmacies it has so far signed up or what it costs pharmacists to use NavixRx.

The new E-Commerce Storefront provides participating independent pharmacies a web store that to sell more than 11,000 over-the-counter products online directly to consumers. “Over the past year, we have seen an increase in online shopping, even for consumable goods, like groceries, that were previously purchased in person,” Weitzman says.

The web store integrates into the independent pharmacy’s existing website and provides a dashboard to reconcile orders, the distributor says. Next-day delivery is available, along with marketing support from Cardinal Health. “Ecommerce Storefront helps the pharmacist meet the changing expectations of consumers, Weitzman says.

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