Dave’s Pharmacy Pharmacist in Charge Melissa Sancho will soon be the full owner of the company. Through Cardinal Health’s Pharmacy Transition Services team, Sancho will further her ownership over the next several years until the pharmacy is 100% locally owned by her. Despite the change in ownership, the store will not be rebranded. (Journal-Tribune photo by Kayleen Petrovia)
While Dave’s Pharmacy will still be in local hands, Dave and Donna Burke will no longer own the company.
“While this occurred much earlier than Donna and I ever planned, the ability to keep an independent pharmacy in Marysville and both of us continuing to work our passions made it happen,” Dave Burke wrote in an email.
Through Cardinal Health’s Pharmacy Transition Services team, current Pharmacist in Charge Melissa Sancho will become full owner of Dave’s Pharmacy over the next several years.
Burke explained that he and his wife never actually listed the pharmacy for sale.
Even so, he said Cardinal Health’s vision of “transitional ownership” provided the future they hoped for Dave’s Pharmacy.
The team at Cardinal Health acts as a third-party partner for individuals seeking to purchase pharmacies.
It is branded as a team that aims to keep independent pharmacies independent.
It provides tools, resources and an analysis to help determine the value of pharmacies. Then it educates and prepares buyers and sellers for “successful pharmacy transitions,” according to literature from the team.
Cardinal Health also acts as a lender to new owners.
Burke said Cardinal Health’s approach would allow the store to remain an independent business, would not harm current employees and would improve services offered to customers.
“Again, chains just want you out of business,” Burke said. “It was ultimately Cardinal’s reasons for purchase that got us to say yes, tied with the skills Melissa already possessed toward ownership.”
Burke said the first exploratory conversation with Cardinal Health took place in late 2019.
“Donna and I struggled with (the potential sale of the business) most of 2020,” he said.
A deal was finalized at the start of this year.
Burke emphasized that Sancho was identified as a managing junior partner “from day one.”
Through several phases guided by Cardinal Health, she will further her ownership over the next several years until the pharmacy is 100% locally owned by her.
In the meantime, Dave’s Pharmacy staff will act as Cardinal Health employees during the transition. He noted that all employees were retained.
“Dave’s Pharmacy patients and customers can rest assured that the employees they know and love will continue to support them in their full-service pharmacy needs,” Burke said.
Between direct assistance from Cardinal Health and the previous Dave’s Pharmacy employees, Sancho will have “a deep bench for her innovative management style,” Burke said.
Customers of Dave’s Pharmacy will continue to recognize the staff, as well as the branding of the store.
“There was never a plan for rebranding,” Burke said.
He said patrons of the store will also continue to have a similar experience to those they have had in the past. The biggest differences include a broader offering of preferred insurance plans and a “freshening” of over-the-counter products.
Though Sancho will lead Dave’s Pharmacy into the future, Burke said his family is still present at the store.
Donna remains a full time pharmacist at Dave’s Pharmacy. Meanwhile, Dave Burke said he is devoting time to public service through his position on the Union County Board of Commissioners.
“Truth be told, our schedules line up better now than ever,” he said.
While selling the business was a difficult decision, Burke said he trusts that Sancho and Cardinal Health “are committed to continuing to be a part of our community and providing superior service.”
“It wasn’t easy, but the opportunity Cardinal presented to us and Marysville was so unique, we knew it would only come once,” Burke said.