Pharmacy U

Small but mighty Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave offers more services


It may be small by the standards of today’s super-sized pharmacies, but Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave in Lindsay, Ont. is playing a big role in the operation of the Town and Country medical clinic.

By Talbot Boggs

Photos by Katie Virag


The pharmacy opened in 2009 in a small health centre, followed a year later with the opening of the Family Health Team, a diverse group of healthcare providers that includes therapists, psychologists, nurse care practitioners and social workers.

Over the next four years, pharmacy co-owner and manager Mike Cavanagh worked with Family Health and four local family physicians operating in a nearby plaza to create the 12,000 sq. ft. clinic as a one-stop health services location.

“The new pharmacy is pretty much the same as the old one, but we completely reorganized it to make it more efficient and equipped it to provide today’s core pharmacy services as well as some new ones,” says Cavanagh, who, with partner Brad Chmarney, owns Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave as well as Medicine Chest Pharmasave in Bowmanville, Ont. “We’re at the epicentre of the clinic – people come in, turn left to go to the physicians’ offices or turn right to go to the Family Health Team. Virtually anything a customer will need is here under one roof.”

The 2,000 sq. ft. pharmacy was equipped with new shelving, high-efficiency LED lighting, wider aisles, and two drop-off stations, one staffed by a pharmacist for intake consultations and a second for more urgent situations. Cavanagh installed two private rooms for consultations, vaccinations and other services and a Kroll paperless workflow system, which expanded the number of computer terminals throughout the store to nine from three.

The 800 sq. ft. front shop consists of core pharmacy products including cough and cold and pain medications, but was expanded to include a cottage country gift section, vitamins, and Pharmasave-branded products.

“The pharmacy was laid out more in a square, open configuration rather than the bowling lane style of the old one,” says Cavanagh. “It gives a much more spacious feel and is a lot brighter, appealing and efficient. With our system the workflow has been streamlined incredibly, and with more terminals throughout the store our staff can retrieve and input information and orders and do virtually anything from anywhere in the store.”

Cavanagh says he offers “core pharmacy services” such as injections, med reviews and consultations as well as a one-day-a-week travel clinic, the only one in the Kawartha Lakes, a popular tourist and vacation destination. He also is a test centre for Time My Meds, a medication adherence program which enables patients to reorder all their medications at one time, rather than separately or individually.

Cavanagh’s script volume has been increasing about 20 per cent a year for the last several years. The upgraded pharmacy is allowing him to keep up with that growth efficiently and prepare for future growth and development of new services, including blister packaging for individual patients now, small nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the future.

“We are gaining a lot of traction from patients with the Time My Meds program, and after only a few months we already are seeing the impact of being in the clinic with physicians and the Family Health Team,” says Cavanagh. “There’s been a lot of good will leading to increased collaboration. We are looking at implementing new government-sponsored services and others which are not. Regardless, now we are equipped to provide current expanded scope of practice services and have the capabilities for new ones that might be coming in the future.”



Opening date: May 2016

Store size: 2,000 sq. ft.

Investment: $350,000

Services: Consultations, MedChecks, inoculations, travel clinic, emergency prescription refills, blister packaging

Employees: 2 pharmacists, 2 registered technicians, 5 general staff

Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.- Fri.; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat; closed Sunday

Equipment: Kroll paperless workflow system with nine in-store terminals