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Guardian Pharmacy launches with Arlington base

To help meet the medication needs of senior citizens residing skilled nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, a national provider of long-term pharmacy services is moving into Texas with its first location in Tarrant County.

Atlanta-based Guardian Pharmacy is partnering with a new owner to take over Pharmacy Concepts in Arlington, an independent long-term care pharmacy that has been in business since 2000.

Melissa Deas, a PharmD or doctor of pharmacy, is the new owner and president of the Texas’ first Guardian Pharmacy operation to be known as Guardian Pharmacy of Dallas-Fort Worth.

“The owners of Pharmacy Concepts were looking to sell the business and retire,” Deas said. “Guardian saw this as a way to get into the Texas market.”

Deas, who has more than 20 years experience in pharmacy management, is new to Guardian. She is partnering with the company to carry out Guardian’s local-autonomy business model.

“Melissa’s extensive knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical industry will be a tremendous asset as we look to deliver the best pharmacy care to the underserved senior market in Texas,” Fred Burke, CEO and co-founder of Guardian Pharmacy said in a statement.

Deas will work with Pharmacy’s Concepts’ staff of about 50 to provide innovative options for medication dispensing, other pharmaceutical services and customer service to nursing homes and long-term care providers and their residents. Guardian will assist with business services such as payroll, hiring and technology support.

“This arrangement is the best of both worlds,” Deas said. “Guardian provides the business support so we here in Arlington can focus on meeting the needs of our customers.”

The new owners will continue to serve Pharmacy Concepts’ more than 1,100 senior clients in Texas as well as grow clientele in Texas’ booming $15.8 billion long-term care industry.

The long-term care segment of the pharmacy industry is also burgeoning due to the aging of the Baby Boomer population and medical technology that helps people live longer lives. The long-term care pharmacy market is becoming crowded as more companies are hoping to seize the financial opportunities of senior medical care.

Unlike retail pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens that serve the public directly, long-term care pharmacies are provide medications, medication management and consulting services to seniors in nursing and assisted facility.

Deas said the role of long-term pharmacies is to create customizable options such as punch card, tear-off strips and other innovative packaging to ensure seniors receive the correct medications and dosages everyday.

Eventually, Guardian may move into other markets in Texas but for now the goal is expand sales statewide through the Arlington-based operation, Deas said.

Founded in 2004, Guardian operates in 28 locations in 20 states serves more than 84,000 long-term care residents.

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