What is your role with the I/DD division at PharMerica? Michael Varnado
I’m the District Pharmacy Director for Pharmacy Alternatives (PAL), our I/DD pharmacy. We have 8 pharmacy locations across the country serving 30 plus states. I oversee pharmacy operations, ensuring that our pharmacies stay compliant, that any licensing is up to date, and that the pharmacies are running smoothly.

What brought you to the I/DD sector? What keeps you here?
I’m a pharmacist. I started in retail and I’ve worked in skilled nursing as well. When I found out that a PAL pharmacy was opening in New Orleans, where I’m from, and learned what they did, I knew that was where I wanted to be. I’ve developed a passion for serving individuals in the I/DD community.

What sets us apart from our competitors?
We want to help our customers any way we can – from compliance support to how we package medications. Everything we do is designed to make it easier for nurses and direct support professionals (DSPs) to take care of their clients and support them in their day-to-day activities. To do that, we use state-of-the-art automation and technology and integrate with more than 50 eMAR systems. We make things easy from a billing perspective, take care of prior authorizations, and handle everything medication-wise so staff can focus on taking care of their clients.

What impact do our services have on individuals with I/DD?
For this population, missing a dose of medication can have serious consequences. Most people can miss a dose of their medication and they’ll be okay, but if an individual with I/DD skips a dose, it can lead to serious behavioral issues. To protect their health and safety, it’s critical that there is a steady level of medication in their system every day. One way we help prevent missed doses is providing calendar card packaging that makes it easy to administer medication and keep clients on track. All the nurse or DSP has to do is look at the bubble for that day and they know the client has gotten their dose.

We go above and beyond, we care about our customers and the individuals they care for, and we’re passionate about what we do.