During the Western Pharmacy Exchange annual conference in Las Vegas, Pharmacy Podcast Network founder and CEO, Todd Eury, worked with the California Pharmacists Association as the Expo-Exhibit Event’s emcee. Todd sat down with Dr. Ken Thai, PharmD to discuss the transformation of community pharmacy and how 986 Pharmacies is leading pharmacy care in Southern California and several other states.
Dr. Ken Thai co-founded 986 Pharmacy in July 2014. He is the CEO and serves on its Board of Directors. Dr. Thai earned his Doctoral from USC School of Pharmacy and went on to complete his residency in community pharmacy practice. He has over 20 years of pharmacy experience in independent pharmacy setting, out-patient pharmacy as well as long term care. Currently he is also the immediate-Past President of the California Pharmacists Association and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at USC School of Pharmacy and Western University of Health Sciences teaching students on entrepreneurship.
Dr. Thai and his team attribute their success and popularity to the company’s ability to personalize. “We live in a world where networking and relationships are of key importance, so we crafted our practice around the needs of the community,” says Ken. When he first decided to open a store in the El Monte neighborhood, he went around to homes and local stores to introduce himself and his business. After the store opened, the staff was trained to remember customers by face and name, and to recall the types of medications they needed. 986 Pharmacy also provides a medication delivery service that can process and deliver to patients’ doorsteps within two hours. “Our medical delivery system is like Amazon Prime, but better,” jokes Thai.
986 Pharmacy was established in 2014 as a group of independent pharmacy organizations under 986 Degrees Corporation. The first 986 pharmacy location opened in 2015 in the city of La Verne, California. Since then the 986 team has opened seven additional retail locations. In addition to retail pharmacies, they have four 986 Specialty Pharmacy in Southern California, Nevada and Texas. 986 also offers infusion medication services at our specialized Infusion Pharmacy, which opened in 2017, in the city of Anaheim, CA. Their expansion allows the group pharmacies to reach more patients to offer not just retail pharmacy care services but offer specialty medication and compounding. 986 Pharmacies are committed in innovation including technology. Medication Adherence packaging automation and mobile delivery technologies are a part of Ken’s plan to leverage new programs which help deliver more value to Independent Community Pharmacies. RxDeliveredNOW and RxSafe are just two of the technology platforms Ken has invested in for 986 Pharmacies operations.