Many communities in the U.S. today are vulnerable to health risks simply because they lack access to a neighborhood pharmacy — a problem Rite Aid is seeking to solve with its small format stores.
The retailer has announced the launch of a pilot program, with its first opening in Craigsville, Va, and two more locations expected to open in the state by early 2023. These small-format store locations will aim to improve access to medication and services in “pharmacy deserts” and underserved communities.
“With these new smaller format pharmacy locations, we are bringing critical pharmacy services to underserved communities,” said Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer, in a statement. “We look forward to becoming a vital member of this community and learning from this new store model as we explore expansion to additional markets across the U.S.”
The small format store locations will be approximately 3,000 square feet, significantly smaller than the typical 11,000 to 15,000 square-foot Rite Aid store. Each of these stores will offer consumers access to a full range of pharmacy services and health and wellness products, according to Supermarket News.
The locations are expected to improve patients’ adherence to prescribed medications by enabling easy access to those that are elderly, uninsured, or unemployed.
According to a National Community Pharmacists Association report, the presence or absence of a personal connection with a pharmacist or pharmacy is a crucial factor that leads to non-adherence, raising health risks and medical costs.
Photo credit: Rite Aid