Galen Perkins has been CEO of Express Rx, a Little Rock-based pharmaceutical retailer with 150 employees and 18 stores in eight states, since 2013. He previously served as vice president of pharmacy services for USA Drug.
During his nearly 30-year career in the health care field, Perkins has been pharmacy manager for CVS Pharmacy and Drug Warehouse Pharmacy, chief pharmacist for an Oklahoma health clinic and staff pharmacist for Walgreens. Perkins earned his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Express Rx opened its first ever headquarters office in Little Rock in November.
What makes Express Rx different from other pharmacies?
Express Rx’s mission is to deliver a more personalized experience that combines old-fashioned customer service with the latest in pharmacy technology. Our locations are smaller than big-box stores at around 2,000 SF each, allowing us to efficiently provide high-quality health care to our patients and the communities we serve.
What worries you most about the current health care environment?
Traditionally, community pharmacists, particularly those in rural communities, have been extremely accessible. Unfortunately, the primary reimbursement models currently do not adequately compensate these highly trained professionals.
As pharmacy benefit managers, commonly known as PBMs, and health care payers push for new lows on reimbursement, it will be even more difficult to maintain this high level of service. If not addressed, this will have a disproportionate impact on the uninsured, poor and underserved, who rely heavily on community pharmacists’ often uncompensated medical advice.
How did you choose Little Rock for your headquarters? What were the top reasons for that move?
Little Rock has a friendly business environment and is well positioned geographically for our current store locations and company’s future growth plans. In addition, it’s a family-friendly city that offers employees ample quality of life amenities with a low cost of living.
Explain the extent of the McLartys’ involvement in Express Rx and how that came about.
Express Rx has been fortunate to work closely with Franklin McLarty as a property developer and minority stakeholder. Thanks to his introduction, we recently joined in an enterprise with MHR Fund Management of New York to acquire 10 Fred’s Pharmacies in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
What do you like best about the pharmacy business or what attracted you to this career?
Pharmacy brings together my three primary interests: health care, chemistry and business. It brings me joy to empower the Express Rx team to provide our customers with the very best health care we possibly can.
Mistakes are said to deliver some of the most meaningful lessons. What is your most important mistake that helped shape your career?
It’s taken some time, but I’ve learned through trial and error that I can’t always do things on my own. It leaves me exhausted and unsatisfied. I’ve also realized a successful career depends on the help of my staff and colleagues, as well as healthy relationships with my family and with God. This strong support system has helped fuel my growth, both personally and professionally.