Top 250: Pharmacare Hawaii
“We figured out what was important to each segment of customers and delivered to that end. You have to dig and look. It takes a lot of communication, but little by little, we figure out what is important to somebody.”
Pharmacare Hawaii co-founders Byron Yoshino and Rick Sakurada.
Pioneers in Hawaii’s pharmacy industry, partners Byron Yoshino and Rick Sakurada founded the first company in the state to offer home infusion therapies.
Both pharmacists by trade, Yoshino and Sakurada recognized a need in Hawaii for at-home services. Yoshino learned about similar practices on the Mainland and wanted to bring the service to Hawaii. “We had to wait for the time to be right. People thought we were crazy,” he says.
But in 1983, the cards fell into place, and Pharmacare Hawaii was formed. They offered two things: at-home IV therapy and total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Fast-forward to today, and the company is now one of the state’s largest and most diversified pharmacy providers. It offers specialty medications, nutritional services and products as well as medical and incontinence supplies throughout the state of Hawaii, Guam, and other areas of the South Pacific. Presently, there are also eight Pharmacare retail pharmacies on Oahu.
“We can provide virtually any prescription outside of the hospital setting,” Yoshino says. “We do anything from regular prescriptions to oral medications, IV therapy. We also administer high-cost medications in nursing homes and provide medication and pharmacy consultants for facilities.”
The number of employees has also grown tremendously. “We started with just my partner, myself and one employee,” Yoshino says. Now, the company employs 140 people across the state, taking the time to ensure each one can administer services in a manner that fits within the Pharmacare value system.
“We recognize that our employees are the most important asset that we have,” Yoshino says. “We are a local company, so we operate as such. Part of our value statement is to perpetuate the Aloha spirit into every endeavor.”
Perhaps this is what helps to separate Pharmacare from its competitors. Catering to patients’ needs in this fashion has helped to earn Pharmacare its esteemed reputation.
“We figured out what was important to each segment of customers and delivered to that end,” Yoshino says, adding that figuring out their specific needs is harder than it may seem. “You have to dig and look. It takes a lot of communication, but little by little, we figure out what is important to somebody.”
Moving forward, Yoshino envisions even more collaboration with physicians and hospitals. “We want to do this so patients don’t have to get readmitted for something they were being treated for,” he says. “It’s providing services to assure positive or improved outcomes.”
Do you like what you read? Subscribe to Hawaii Business Magazine »