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18 June 2019

It’s all about service

Operational Standards of Unident Group Pharmacies

There is an intense struggle for the customer in the Russian pharmacy market, and especially in the capital region. The reputation that the young chains Unifarma and Rosapteka enjoy is to a great extent owed to excellent customer service. What is involved in this concept, and how does the company adhere to the chosen strategy?


GPP (Good Pharmacy Practice), is an extensive list of recommendations given by professional pharmacy communities. Good practices exceed the state regulations and standards

From the very beginning Unifarma and Rosapteka got their priorities straight: quality of human life and human dignity. It is these basic values that are of paramount importance here when they open each new pharmacy: for example, when choosing premises, attention is paid not only to commercial benefits—rental cost and traffic volume—but also to convenience of future visitors. This means that the premises must meet the requirements of transport accessibility for all categories of citizens, including people with disabilities, low-mobility people, parents with small children. It is important that the site allowed for implementing corporate design and meeting those stringent requirements to sanitary and hygiene conditions and ergonomics that are imposed on pharmacies by “good practices”.

GPP standards provide for wide walkways, high-quality lighting, proper temperature conditions, air conditioning, convenient movement around the pharmacy, and conditions for high-quality indoor cleaning. There are thousands of these components.


The company cooperates with non-profi t organization Soyuzpharma. This is a professional organization with a long history that unites more than fi ve thousand pharmacies. One of its tasks is to introduce good practices in the conditions of the pharmacy market. Soyuzpharma provides Rosapteka and Unifarma with access to its OPEKA service. This is an independent audit: a pharm inspector comes to the pharmacy and, using a tablet with a checklist, checks hundreds of performance indicators of pharmacy activities.

This sweepingly includes product display, temperature conditions, lighting, and hygiene. Moreover, the OPEKA pharm inspector checks the pharmacy not only by constantly updated state regulations but also by higher GPP standards. Once this is done, the pharmacy receives a detailed report. The pharmacy management corrects the fl aws, if any, after which the auditor comes again and, if everything is in order, issues a special emblem. It is kept at the pharmacy until the next check.

“This is a kind of inner self-control that makes it possible for us to confirm our high service with facts by attracting independent professional assessment, rather than merely claim it without any proof,” says Konstantin Tiunov, Marketing Director of Unifarma and Rosapteka chains.



According to the HR department research, less than half of the Unifarma and Rosapteka employees put money first as motivation, preferring other factors. Pharmacists should first of all respect themselves as professionals, and their dignity and competence should not come in conflict with the business model of the pharmacy. Pharmacists are not merely salespersons. First and foremost, they are medical professionals who help people. In Unifarma and Rosapteka, the business model is built around the idea of professional assistance to customers.



of the chain employees prioritize intangible motivation to work over the fi nancial

And, of course, success of such a complex business as pharmacy chain is based on people. That is why special emphasis is placed here on selection and training of personnel. Unifarma and Rosapteka are trying to attract the most qualified professionals, for whom not only monetary incentives but also professional motivation is also very important.

 “A pharmacy worker must have a secondary or higher professional education with a specialization in ‘Pharmaceuticals’. This fact forms a certain mindset in people,” thinks Irina Pavlova, Personnel Director of Rosapteka and Unifarma chains.

“We support it at every level starting with education in our Training Center. This is a mandatory step for all new employees. We invite here the best business coaches, consultants from partner manufacturers, and we strive to ensure that our pharmacists develop their competencies in line with the current trends in medicine.”

Here we cultivate considerate attitude towards visitors, and each pharmacist has a top-priority task—to understand the problem of a person and find its solution in the most professional way. The flexible system of motivation of Unifarma and Rosapteka employees is such that the pharmacist doesn’t need to choose between good advice and good sale, but rather he has the opportunity to provide professional help and earn money at the same time.



In our pharmacies, the interests of our customers are our No. 1  concern, while pharmacoeconomic considerations are secondary

In Unifarma and Rosapteka, when we always think about our range of products from the customer’s point of view and update our inventory accordingly. After all, the market does not stand still: there are new interesting brands, drugs, manufacturers. And the visitor should be able to use only the best products and be aware of the latest achievements of the pharmaceutical industry.

“We have removed any restrictions on cooperation with partners,” says Konstantin Tiunov. “What this means is: we are ready to work with any manufacturer by default, but at the same time we have a number of requirements to ensure our internal standards. I am talking about the complete certification of products with confirmation of efficiency and safety, training of our pharmacists on this product, a fair price and the possibility of high-quality display.

 In our pharmacies, the interests of our customers are our No. 1 concern, not pharmacoeconomic issues. This often runs counter to the idea of quick benefits, as many competitors do not share these approaches. But we are sure that this is a solid foundation for our friendship with the customer for many years to come.”



Text by Mariana Kapsuletskaia
Photo by Evgenii Dudin, Denis Kuznetsov, Ruslan Shamukov

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