McKesson pharmacies play catch-up with new app

By: Jonah Comstock | Oct 15, 2013        

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McKesson Health MartHealth Mart, a wholly owned subsidiary of the McKesson Corporation, has released a new mobile app for community pharmacies. Health Mart is a pharmacy franchise brand with 3,100 independently owned community pharmacies across the country.

Most large retail pharmacies have apps which support prescription refill requests and reminders. A recent MobiHealthNews roundup found that Walgreens, CVS, Duane Read, Rite Aid, Wegman’s, and Target all had apps in the major app stores. Walgreens reported in May that customers who engaged with the pharmacy’s app spent six times as much as in the store as those that didn’t.

But while big chains can afford to invest in a mobile strategy, it can be harder for small local pharmacies — and if Walgreens’ findings are any indication, that can further hurt their ability to compete with chain stores. McKesson will offer its app to local pharmacies that become Health Mart franchises.

McKesson’s Health Mart app, an extension of its Your Pharmacy Online program, has several features common to pharmacy apps. Users can set reminders to refill their prescriptions when they run out. Patients can send a refill request to the pharmacy via the app. Through the app, the pharmacy can also alert users when their prescription is ready for pick-up.

The app can also extend in-store promotions and give users directions to the pharmacy. It launched quietly last month and has been downloaded 2,000 times, according to the company. It’s not available through all Health Mart stores, only those that opt into the Your Pharmacy Online program. The app is free and available for both iOS and Android devices.