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What Is An Independent Pharmacy?

What Is An Independent Pharmacy
A retail pharmacy that is not directly linked with any chain of pharmacies and that is not owned (or run) by a publicly traded firm is referred to as an independent pharmacy. There are several different types of independent pharmacies. Individual pharmacists own and operate these privately held firms, which can be found in a variety of practice environments.

These include compounding, single-store businesses, pharmacist-owned multiple store locations, franchises, long-term care (LTC), specialty, and supermarket pharmacy operations, as well as pharmacist-owned multiple store sites. Independent pharmacy operators often have more leeway to cultivate customized connections with their clientele, and they work hard to set themselves apart from big-chain organizations in terms of the quality of the services they provide.

There were 23,064 independent pharmacies operating in the United States in the year 2010. Approximately 1.5 billion prescriptions were filled each year by independent pharmacies, which accounted for over 40% of all retail prescriptions filled. The typical independent pharmacy had total revenues of roughly $4 million, with prescription sales accounting for approximately $3.7 million per location on average (this accounted for 92.5 percent of all sales generated by independent pharmacies).

What is independent retail pharmacy?

A retail pharmacy that is not directly linked with any chain of pharmacies and that is not owned (or run) by a publicly traded firm is referred to as an independent pharmacy. There are several different types of independent pharmacies. Individual pharmacists own and operate these privately held firms, which can be found in a variety of practice environments.

These include compounding, single-store businesses, pharmacist-owned multiple store locations, franchises, long-term care (LTC), specialty, and supermarket pharmacy operations, as well as pharmacist-owned multiple store sites. Independent pharmacy operators often have more leeway to cultivate customized connections with their clientele, and they work hard to set themselves apart from big-chain organizations in terms of the quality of the services they provide.

There were 23,064 independent pharmacies operating in the United States in the year 2010. Approximately 1.5 billion prescriptions were filled each year by independent pharmacies, which accounted for over 40% of all retail prescriptions filled. The typical independent pharmacy had total revenues of roughly $4 million, with prescription sales accounting for approximately $3.7 million per location on average (this accounted for 92.5 percent of all sales generated by independent pharmacies).

Is an independent pharmacy better?

4. Efficacy It is a common misunderstanding that locally held enterprises are less effective than their corporate equivalents in terms of efficiency. When we look at locally owned pharmacies, however, we find that this is not always the case. The wait times at independent pharmacies were found to be significantly shorter than those at chain pharmacies, according to the findings of a test conducted by Consumer Reports.

  1. Not only did they discover that independent pharmacies have much shorter wait times, but they also delivered a considerably higher frequency of consultations with a pharmacist one-on-one.
  2. The significance of direct engagement between a patient and their pharmacist cannot be overstated in a field as complicated as healthcare.

Another study that was published not too long ago discovered that independent pharmacies have been substantially more effective than chain pharmacies at administering COVID-19 immunizations. Although the federal government partnered with CVS and Walgreens to distribute vaccines, two states that have turned to independent pharmacies for vaccine rollout – West Virginia and North Dakota – are reporting the highest percentage of vaccine administration.

  1. This is despite the fact that the federal government partnered with CVS and Walgreens to distribute vaccines.
  2. Because CVS and Walgreens have been so inefficient in their administration of dosages, several states, including Maine, have started sending the doses that were supposed to go to these chain pharmacies to independent pharmacies instead.

In principle, chain pharmacies should be able to operate more effectively than individual pharmacies. However, in point of fact, the choice they made to cut back on the number of employees working at each location in order to save money has had the exact opposite effect.

How many independent pharmacies are there in the US?

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (the 11th of October, 2021) – Today, as part of the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Annual Convention, the 2021 edition of the NCPA Digest, which was sponsored by Cardinal Health, was made available to the public.

  1. According to the findings of the NCPA Digest, an annual publication that gives an overview of independent community pharmacy, the industry will account for 34 percent of all retail pharmacies in the United States by the year 2020 and will have a market value of $67.1 billion.
  2. According to B.
  3. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist and MBA, who serves as the CEO of the NCPA, “In a period unlike any other, the role of community pharmacists has never been more clear.” “The research that was published in the NCPA Digest underscores the fact that vaccines administered by pharmacists should now be included to the list of key competences that already include advising, monitoring for drug interactions, and aiding medication adherence.

However, independent pharmacies are unable to deliver these or any other public health services if they are unable to stay in business. This is because pharmacy direct and indirect compensation fees, together with other market pressures, can be debilitating.

Our ongoing efforts to change the pharmacy payment model to compensate and recognize pharmacists for the services they do and are able to provide are bolstered by the data compiled by the digest, which assists us in demonstrating the value of independent pharmacies to payers, policymakers, and the media.” Independent community pharmacies provide a wide range of services, all of which are detailed in the 2021 NCPA Digest.

In the year 2020, nearly 79 percent of respondents offered medication synchronization services, while 73 percent offered medication therapy management, 84 percent provided flu immunizations, and 80 percent provided non-flu immunizations. Additionally, 53 percent of respondents monitored their patients’ blood pressure.

  1. From a charitable point of view, sixty percent of all independent community pharmacy owners made donations to at least five local groups in the year 2020, and fifty percent of pharmacies made donations of more than three thousand dollars each year to assist community organizations.
  2. Additional noteworthy items from the NCPA Digest regarding the independent community pharmacy marketplace in the year 2020 include the following: According to IQVIA, the overall number of independent pharmacies as of June 2021 was 19,397.

This information was taken from the Digest report for this year. The store count that was provided in the Digest reports of prior years was derived from an analysis performed by the NCPA on data provided by the NCPDP and research conducted by the NCPA, which most recently yielded a store count of 21,683 in 2019.

  1. Ninety-five percent of responders from independent community pharmacies selected retail pharmacy as their primary pharmacy activity.
  2. A little under 5 percent of respondents said that they worked in compounding, long-term care, or speciality.
  3. The percentage of generic prescriptions filled rose from 80 percent to 86 percent between 2014 and 2020.

Community pharmacy serve regions with a population of 50,000 people or fewer seventy-four percent of the time. The CPESN® USA nationwide network of clinically integrated pharmacies has 3,483 clinically integrated pharmacies that are participants. To this day, more than one hundred contracts for national or local network installations have been signed, finished, or activated.

  • A very tiny rise from the 57,414 prescriptions that were dispensed at each shop in 2019 to the 57,648 prescriptions that were filled in 2020 brought the average prescription volume to 57,648.
  • The relevance of government programs is continuing to increase, as seen by the fact that Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs together cover 55% of all medications.

SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing accounts for 32 percent of all point-of-care services offered, followed by blood glucose testing (24 percent), influenza testing (24 percent), and quick strep testing (24 percent) (22 percent). ### Since its founding in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association has served as the voice of the community pharmacist.

  1. It currently represents roughly 19,400 pharmacies across the country, which together are responsible for the employment of approximately 215,000 people.
  2. Community pharmacies are deeply ingrained in the neighborhoods in which they are situated and are among the most easily available medical service providers in the United States.

Visit the website at for further information. NCPA

What state has the most independent pharmacies?

According to the United States National Drugstore Market Summary conducted by IQVIA in 2019, the following table provides a ranking of the top 25 pharmacy chains in the United States based on the total number of pharmacists employed by each chain.

Rank Pharmacy chain Headquarters Pharmacists Stores
1 Walgreens Company Deerfield, Illinois 48,986 9,323
2 CVS Health Woonsocket, Rhode Island 31,235 9,900
3 Walmart Bentonville, Arkansas 15,369 4,865
4 Rite Aid Corp Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 10,869 2,721
5 Kroger Company Cincinnati, Ohio 7,516 1,956
6 Albertsons Inc Boise, Idaho 6,157 1,713
7 AmerisourceBergen Corporation Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania 4,852 1,961
8 Publix Super Markets Inc Lakeland, Florida 4,700 1,084
9 McKesson Corp Irving, Texas 4,524 1,556
10 Costco Wholesale Corp Issaquah, Washington 2,179 500
11 Cardinal Health Inc Dublin, Ohio 1,382 518
12 Ahold Delhaize Usa Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1,380 521
13 H E B Grocery Company San Antonio, Texas 1,310 270
14 Meijer Great Lakes Limited Partnership Grand Rapids, Michigan 1,080 238
15 Southeastern Grocers LLC Jacksonville, Florida 1,059 327
16 Hy Vee Inc West Des Moines, Iowa 1,006 249
17 Sears Holdings Corp (Defunct) Hoffman Estates, Illinois 945 306
18 Kaiser Permanente Oakland, California 892 131
19 Freds Inc (Defunct) Memphis, Tennessee 778 301
20 Pharmerica Corp Louisville, Kentucky 614 89
21 Giant Eagle Inc Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 594 204
22 Shopko Stores Operating Company LLC (Defunct) Green Bay, Wisconsin 574 206
23 Ahold Delhaize America Salisbury, North Carolina 484 170
24 Wegmans Food Markets Inc Rochester, New York 479 88
25 Kinney Drugs Inc Gouverneur, New York 437 113

Should I use a local pharmacy?

8. Alternatives to Your Prescriptions, in Addition to Other Choices – There are a number of insurance policies that will only pay for specific forms of medication, and these plans often steer clients to chain pharmacies (only brand name, only generic version etc).

  1. Local pharmacies are more likely to provide you with the optimal solution for your requirements if your insurance will cover alternative formulations of a prescription.
  2. You may rest assured that you will receive what you require since local pharmacies have their orders filled by the pharmacist who is currently working rather than by a regional or area controller.

Don’t worry, either; independent pharmacies are just as capable as chain pharmacies when it comes to transferring patients and their medications.

Are family owned pharmacies profitable?

Is it financially rewarding to operate a pharmacy? It is a challenging inquiry, and the response is not as straightforward as you may anticipate it to be. To cut a long tale short. It depends. Even if they play an extremely significant part in our society, we must not lose sight of the fact that pharmacies are still companies and, as such, must generate a profit in order to be successful.

According to a recent report published by Drug Topics, independent pharmacies accounted for 35% of all retail pharmacies in the United States in the year 2017. That’s almost 23,000 different drugstores. In addition, a research that was conducted in 2013 said that the typical proprietor of an independent pharmacy should anticipate taking home around $247,000 year.

When all of these statistics are considered together, they imply that operating a pharmacy continues to be a lucrative business for many people. Having said that, there are a number of constantly shifting elements that have the potential to affect the profitability of any pharmacy.

  1. When it comes to the financial success of a pharmacy, there are a number of aspects that need to be taken into consideration, six of which will be discussed in this article.1.
  2. The Financial Market The condition of the market is one of the most important elements that determines whether or not a business will be profitable, and pharmacies are no exception.

The profit margin for independent pharmacies in 2017 was 21.8 percent, according to data provided by Drug Channels. Although it is still a substantial margin, it has been in a state of gradual contraction over the course of the past few years. It is essential to keep in mind that even in today’s competitive market, this sector maintains one of the best profit margins of any business.

  • Nevertheless, while contemplating future profitability, it is always vital to take into account the direction in which the market is heading.
  • Be sure that you are keeping up with the latest research and developments in the healthcare industry, as well as any relevant trends.
  • Make use of the abundance of current research that has been conducted that is pertinent to the operation of independent pharmacies as a starting point for calculating profitability.2.

The total number of prescriptions that were fulfilled Even though it may seem obvious, prescriptions are the most important source of revenue for every pharmacy. Your capacity to turn a profit will be directly proportional to the amount of prescriptions that you and your team are successful in obtaining.

  • Prizm Media offers a wide variety of services that may assist pharmacies in increasing the number of prescriptions they are able to fill as well as the methods in which they can engage with potential patients.
  • Learn more about how we can assist you with optimizing your sales cycle by reading some of our other blog entries or getting in touch with our team directly.

Over-the-counter product sales have been growing in significance alongside prescription medication refills in recent years. Whether you sell groceries, equipment, or vitamins, having a plan to improve over-the-counter sales will assist increase profitability.

  1. This is true regardless of the product being sold.
  2. Check out one of our more recent postings for some suggestions on how you might increase sales of over-the-counter items at your pharmacy.3.
  3. The Anticipated Level of Demand We are a part of a society that places an expectation of on-demand services not just on customers but also on patients.

People have come to anticipate that the items and services they purchase will be delivered to them in a manner that is as accommodating to their schedule as is humanly feasible, be it in the form of gadgets, meals, or automobile trips. On-demand services are utilized by companies such as Amazon, Uber, Netflix, and RxtoMe, to name just a few examples.

  • When it comes to picking up their refills, patients are typically not overly enthusiastic.
  • Keeping track of their gas mileage, finding a parking spot, and standing in line for their medicines are nothing more than a bother and a another duty to add to their list.
  • RxtoMe is one example of a prescription app that enables patients 2 obtain refills whenever they need them and have them sent directly to their door on a monthly basis.

However, patients no longer need to accept this as a fact of life. In a nutshell, if you want to successfully reach more patients and provide a better experience for patients, you should think about offering on-demand services like mail-ordering as part of your pharmacy.4.

Financial Management It is essential for the success of any organization to have sound financial management, and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. As a result of narrowing profit margins, it is more critical than ever before to increase revenue and keep expenditures under control whenever it is practicable to do so.

One of the certain methods to guarantee that your pharmacy will continue to be profitable is to keep a sensible budget. Although it’s simpler to say than to accomplish, some of the most important suggestions are as follows: – Leverage advertising around popular prescriptions or goods customized to your client base.

– Introduce new services as sources of extra income. – Cut back on non-essential expenditures or develop techniques to minimize costs. – Introduce new services as streams of additional revenue (i.e. collaborations or partnerships, cost-sharing, etc.) A proprietor of a pharmacy will not learn anything new from any of this knowledge.

The most important thing is to make sure that you give yourself enough time to critically and thoroughly consider how you can enhance your capabilities in these areas so that you can raise your ability to be lucrative.5. Your Business You, the owner of the drugstore, are the most crucial thing on this list, more significant even than any of the other factors.

  • Everything that we have discussed up to this point will be directly impacted by the level of enthusiasm and dedication that you have for your company.
  • The capacity to think creatively and act independently is critical to financial success, particularly in markets that are cutthroat.
  • You need to be willing to put in the hard work, make sacrifices when they are necessary, and go above and beyond for both your workers and your patients, just like any other company owner.

An story published on discusses how the current president of the National Community Pharmacists Association, John Tilley, built his firm from three to seventeen pharmacies while accepting a salary that was lower than that of his pharmacists.

When it comes to running a business, there is always going to be some level of risk involved, and this is something that is especially true when it comes to running an independent pharmacy. When considering the question, “Is it profitable to manage a pharmacy?” the following is a brief breakdown of the variables that, in our opinion, you should take into consideration.1.

What recent developments have been seen in the market? Are we seeing a continual narrowing of profit margins? Is there room for expansion in this industry? 2. How many of your prescriptions can we fulfill? What methods are available to us for increasing sales of prescriptions OR over-the-counter products? 3.

  • Do we have a good handle on our budget? Are we making every effort to keep expenditures under control and increase income in every possible way? 4.
  • What kind of experience do customers get when they shop at my pharmacy? Where can I make adjustments to guarantee the best possible experience for each and every patient, as well as the best possible return on their investment? 5.

What are the prerequisites for you to be able to steer your pharmacy toward success and financial gain? You will be in a lot better position to judge whether or not your pharmacy is well-positioned for profitability once you have the answers to those questions in mind.6.

  1. Put money into new technology.
  2. The pharmacy is the sole location where you will have the chance to communicate with patients in your role as a pharmacist.
  3. However, what about the area surrounding the pharmacy? Investing in new technology is the solution to this problem.
  4. Think about using patient management tools to contact with patients and keep track of how their medicines are working out for them.

In addition, this presents the possibility of sending notifications and reminders to the customer regarding their next refills. Patients will have a better experience overall, particularly when they have questions or concerns, if you create more opportunities for patients to interact with your pharmacy on a regular basis.

  • This will place your pharmacy at the forefront of their minds.
  • Patients will always be grateful to you for taking the time to help and educate them in any manner you can.
  • Considering the accessibility of your patients to so many other local pharmacies, it is critical that you make investments in technology to enhance patient loyalty, confidence, and happiness.

Make your pharmacy stand out and accentuate the personal touch you provide. When it comes to the idea of spending money on technology, it may be difficult to stomach, but if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to understand that you need to spend money in order to create more money.

Will independent pharmacies survive?

In the spring of the previous year, Tobin’s Pharmacy and Department Store had already loaded its shelves with things for Easter and Mother’s Day, and the employees had just finished placing their orders for Christmas. The store in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, has been running precariously due to the shift toward online retail sales and the increased competition from mail-order pharmacies, both of which were taking away patients.

  • As a result of the fact that it was losing money on one out of every four pill bottles filled, the front of the store, where it sold apparel, cosmetics, and jewelry, had been compensating for pharmacy losses for many years.
  • Dave Schultz, who owned the store with his brother and shared the business with him, stated, “And then COVID struck.” “And it was the last straw in the camel’s back.” The COVID-19 outbreak destroyed many companies in the year 2020, particularly those that were dependent on personal interactions with customers for revenue.

The pandemic lockdowns intensified the pre-existing economic strains that were already being felt by pharmacists, particularly independent pharmacies. A great number of small pharmacies that are independently owned and run were able to swiftly adjust, providing their typical services in more secure settings or profiting on new services made available as a result of the pandemic, such as COVID testing and immunizations.

But some businesses, like Tobin’s, succumbed to the pandemic and were forced to permanently close their doors as a result. It is too early to estimate precisely how many pharmacies have fallen victim to COVID and to evaluate how patients will be affected by the situation. The overall number of pharmacies has decreased by less than one percent over the past five years due to the growth of pharmacy chains at the expense of independent community pharmacies.

These independent community pharmacies are frequently the only place left in some smaller towns to fill prescriptions. According to the findings of the Rural Policy Research Institute, 1,231 rural pharmacies that were independently owned and operated went out of business permanently between the years of 2003 and 2018, far before the pandemic crisis.

  • In addition, the Drug Channels Institute reports that the number of urban and rural independent pharmacies fell below 20,000 for the first time in the year 2020, after a trend of gradual decrease over the previous five years.
  • It’s possible that revenue from COVID testing and immunizations may help some independents stay in business, but doing so will come with additional expenses and obstacles in terms of logistics.

According to Harry Lattanzio, president of PRS Pharmacy Services, a consulting business located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, “Pharmacies are having a hard time.” “We are getting inquiries from a significantly higher number of pharmacy proprietors who are interested in selling their establishments.

  1. They can no longer take it.” Last year, he added, most pharmacies observed a reduction in the number of prescriptions written because consumers were reluctant to visit their doctors for reasons that were not life-threatening.
  2. This decline in business resulted in a reduction in the number of sales of over-the-counter medications and other auxiliary products that were made by the retailers.

In the meanwhile, pharmacies were required to increase their level of technology and purchase additional safety gear in order to keep their employees and customers safe in light of the new reality. According to Lattanzio, several independent pharmacies, which had long favored the human touch of having staff members answer the phones, have been forced to invest in new technologies in order to manage the hundreds of calls that come in each day from customers looking for vaccinations.

Despite a decrease in sales, costs continued to climb. Lattanzio remarked that most of the time they were in the red financially. If you didn’t end up losing money, that means you executed your plan flawlessly. Twenty years ago, when Lattanzio opened the doors of his first pharmacy, he was able to achieve gross profit margins of 36 percent.

Now, independent pharmacies that survive the epidemic at all will consider themselves lucky to see margins of between 3 and 5 percent. A significant portion of this drop may be attributed to the influence of pharmacy benefit managers, often known as PBMs.

  1. PBMs are responsible for managing the reimbursement of pharmacies for prescription drugs provided by commercial and governmental health plans.
  2. These pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which are frequently affiliated with huge drugstore chains, engaged in a concerted campaign to reduce the earnings of small pharmacies.

As a result, many smaller chains and independent pharmacies were unable to withstand the additional financial burden caused by the epidemic. Joe Moose, co-owner of Moose Pharmacy, a chain of seven drugstores located on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina, was quoted as saying, “I’m terrified to see the consequence.” “The delay in payments, the higher expense to maintain operating in the early days of this, mixed with the fact that reimbursement is so bad already—COVID may be the final nail in the coffin for some of us,” said one of the affected business owners.

In the Charlotte, North Carolina region, Joe Moose, who is also a co-owner of Moose Pharmacies, is working hard to adjust his business to the many changes that COVID has brought about. The firm increased the number of drivers it employed and the number of people it delivered food to at home by three times.

Logan Cyrus—KHN The Moose Pharmacy is making an effort to adjust. During the epidemic, the business was forced to stop allowing customers to make purchases inside the stores, so it increased its curbside services and employed more drivers. Home deliveries tripled.

  • The meals, toilet paper, paper towels, and shampoo were all brought to the clients by the staff.
  • “Our website required some expansion work to be done.
  • We installed the equipment required for individuals to send us text messages from the parking lot.
  • It was necessary for it to comply with HIPAA “explained Moose, who along with his brother controls the network of restaurants.

Keep in mind that none of these changes will result in an increase in reimbursement. COVID was also responsible for disrupting the supply chain of medications. In typical circumstances, the pharmacy’s medication supply is managed by an automated system; hence, when it distributes medicines, replacements appear in the delivery the next day.

However, Moose and his crew were forced to use an outdated method, which involved phoning five or six distributors to inquire as to who possessed the medications in stock. During a time when COVID testing was in short supply, pharmacies educated their staff on how to do quick tests. As soon as the vaccinations became available, Moose searched for patients who were unable to schedule an appointment using their smartphone, who were unable to drive to mass immunization clinics, or who were simply too terrified to leave their homes.

Vaccines were brought to an elderly cancer patient by staff members. The patient’s wife had passed away one year prior. Both he and his adult son, who has a disability, were afraid of acquiring the virus if they went out in public. Moose explained, “But since he trusts us, we are able to provide his medication to him maybe once every other week.” Therefore, it was reasonable for us to bring the vaccination to him.

  1. Logan Cyrus—KHN Tripp One of the three pharmacies owned by Logan, a pharmacist in Charleston, Missouri, is located in rural Mississippi County, which is home to 14,000 people but does not have a hospital or a corporate pharmacy to serve them.
  2. In that location, there is a consortium made up of four different pharmacies as well as the county health department to aid in the distribution of COVID vaccines.

According to what Logan had to say, “It started with a group text, and the next thing you know, we’re collectively vaccinating hundreds of people each week.” According to Owen BonDurant, president of Independent Rx Consulting in Centerville, Ohio, many pharmacies are earning new revenues to offset some of the retail losses.

  1. Because pharmacies can make up to $70 per COVID test and $40 for each vaccination, many pharmacies are earning new revenues to offset some of the retail losses.
  2. According to what BonDurant claimed, “it has thus delivered a large improvement in profit margins for the short term.” “It’s likely that COVID has prevented the closure of several pharmacies.

Because the pressure from PBM has been so intense, particularly on some of these rural and inner-city pharmacies, a significant number of those establishments are still on the edge of going out of business.” Many pharmacies were able to stay in business thanks to an influx of cash from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which also enabled some of them to make investments that will put them in a stronger position for the future.

  1. According to Dan Strause, president and chief executive officer of Hometown Pharmacy in Madison, Wisconsin, “We would have had to shut down or sell because the PBMs were cruel last year, and they killed off a lot of our friends in Wisconsin,” Strause said.
  2. Dan Strause is from Madison.
  3. “Had it not been for the PPP, a far greater number of people would have met the same end.” It’s possible that some of the adjustments prompted by necessity will be maintained.

In a recent poll conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association, three out of five community pharmacists responded that they anticipate an increase in the number of pharmacies providing point-of-care testing in the aftermath of the pandemic, and more than half of those surveyed stated that an increase in the number of pharmacies providing immunizations is also anticipated.

Hashim Zaibak, the Chief Executive Officer of Hayat Pharmacy in Milwaukee, stated that his establishment is now contemplating offering testing for the influenza virus, strep throat, and hemoglobin A1C levels for diabetic patients, in addition to continuing to offer immunizations. Zaibak stated that the alterations will remain in place.

In September, the owners of Tobin’s decided not to reopen the pharmacy after exploring the possibility of selling it but ultimately being unable to find a buyer. Schultz stated that it is unknown whether or not they could have lived if COVID had not occurred, or whether or not the income from the vaccination might have helped.

  1. In Wisconsin, he is aware of the closure of two other independently owned pharmacies during the previous 18 months.
  2. According to what he stated, “the true crux of the situation is that you’re getting paid, in some circumstances, $60 beneath the amount that we wind up paying for the drug.” “How do you rationalize the use of that piece of your company?” To better service its population of 17,000 people, Oconomowoc offers one independent pharmacy, two pharmacies located within grocery stores, and a Walgreens.

However, Schultz is concerned about a significant number of the elderly and ill clients who relied on the individualized care that his pharmacy offered. One of his former pharmacists currently works at a pharmacy on the outskirts of town, but she still makes it a point to bring prescription pills to some of Tobin’s most dependent former clients on her way home.

“She simply didn’t think they would survive moving somewhere else,” he added. “She just didn’t think they would survive.” Kaiser Health News, abbreviated as KHN, is a nationwide newsroom that publishes in-depth journalism on a variety of topics related to health. KHN is one of the three primary operational initiatives that KFF carries out, the other two being Policy Analysis and Polling (Kaiser Family Foundation).

The KFF is a charitable organization that is endowed, and it focuses on informing the country on matters related to health. Readers like you are the driving force behind our goal to improve the business world. Sign up for an account with us right away to get unrestricted access to all of our journalism.

How do people choose pharmacy?

How to Improve Your Pharmacy’s Marketing Efforts Directed Toward Potential Patients – According to a poll conducted by Drug Store News, the majority of customers choose their pharmacy based on its proximity to their home and its ease of access. Patients frequently consider their immediate surroundings first.

There is a good chance that this indicates they will begin getting their prescriptions filled at the nearest location of a national chain pharmacy. They become accustomed to the drugstore and continue to shop there since they are unaware of the services provided by other pharmacies in the area. When it comes to marketing your pharmacy, getting to know the patients who are now using it as well as those who could start using it can help you enhance both the profitability of your company and its market share.

It is a wonderful starting point to assist you in marketing to your ideal patients if you are familiar with and understand the demographics of your company. The following are examples of direct demographic factors: Age Income Gender Race Generation Culture or ethnic background Occupational Religious Educational Family life cycle (single, married, kids, empty nest, etc.) It’s likely that you already have some background knowledge on the vast majority of your patients.

  • Do you mostly work with older citizens on a limited budget? Or, perhaps your most profitable clients are families with young children.
  • If you are unsure, you can determine the answer by consulting the patient database contained inside the software that manages your pharmacy.
  • In the current highly competitive atmosphere, you may use this facts to give yourself an advantage over the competition.

You can create marketing strategies that are better targeted if you keep your best patients in mind when developing them, and you can also deliver more successful services and retail items at your pharmacy if you do so. Make your pharmacy stand out from the competition so that patients would choose it when they need a pharmacy.

What are the threats in pharmacy business?

In today’s world, it seems like every direction you turn, there’s another major drugstore chain popping up. But let’s be honest here: even if these giants are competing against each other for the lion’s share of the pharmaceutical industry, the small community pharmacies and independent pharmacies are still doing rather well for themselves.

  1. According to the 2017 NCPA Digest, smaller local pharmacies presently dominate around 40 percent of the market.
  2. This equates to an annual revenue of $80 billion for the whole $200 billion pharmacy industry.
  3. Having said that, it is important to highlight the fact that the markets for medical treatments and pharmaceuticals are notoriously unstable and invariably cutthroat.

In light of all this unpredictability and competition, what steps can a modest, locally owned and operated, independent community pharmacy do to either retain or strengthen its position? The answer can be as straightforward as saying, “Keep things simple.” Throughout the course of pharmacy’s history, smaller pharmacies have traditionally depended on tried-and-true simple techniques to preserve their impact in local communities.

  • Excellent support for existing customers
  • engagements with customers that are one-on-one and face-to-face.
  • Keeping abreast with the requirements of the local community

These time-honored business practices that are centered on providing excellent customer service have enabled thousands of locally owned and operated pharmacies to continue to fulfill a vital role in the communities they serve. Technology is also very significant today.

  1. Every astute business owner knows the importance of keeping a close watch on technological developments and acting swiftly to adopt those that are most likely to benefit their company’s standing in the market.
  2. The utilization of technology to achieve a competitive advantage does not, however, imply that more time-honored and, more significantly, fruitful business practices should be abandoned.

In point of fact, maintaining a healthy balance between the two may very well be the secret to one’s success. Independent pharmacies can build a foundation on which they can better market and position their businesses in our new three-part series titled “The 21st Century Pharmacy.” We will discuss some fundamental, easily accessible, and relatively low-cost traditional and technologically inspired approaches that independent pharmacies can implement.

This will allow them to have a stronger foothold in both their communities and the industry as a whole. Why not take a look at your in-store marketing activities if you’re seeking for strategies to increase the bottom line of your pharmacy and are looking for ways to raise revenue? You’ll be able to take a step back from the day-to-day grind of a clinical perspective and look at your pharmacy through the lens of business, or more specifically, marketing, if you conduct a critical analysis of your company using a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

This will allow you to view your pharmacy as a business. It’s possible that a SWOT analysis will seem difficult, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily is. In point of fact, this kind of analysis is a straightforward method for being able to look at the internal (opportunities and threats) and external (strengths and weaknesses) factors that could have an effect on your company.

  • Differentiate your apothecary from the others in the area.
  • Better target your marketing efforts
  • Identify unexplored territories in which you have the potential to expand your marketing activities.

What Is An Independent Pharmacy Strengths How does the performance of your pharmacy compare to that of others in the community? Do you provide vaccinations against the flu, when others do not? Do you provide low-cost or free immunizations to people of the community who are uninsured? What about hosting seminars and clinics that focus on particular disease categories, such as diabetes or heart disease? A strength may be defined as everything that your pharmacy performs that your clients enjoy but that your rivals do not supply.

  1. Put them into writing.
  2. Weaknesses You may find it difficult to discover weak areas in the business model for your pharmacy since no one like looking at the difficult stuff; yet, you shouldn’t shortchange yourself in this endeavor.
  3. Where do you need to make improvements? What are some of the advantages that your rival pharmacies have that your own establishment does not have? Are you able to increase staff? Do you provide in-depth training for your staff? What was the reason for the most recent complaint from a client that you received? When you are seeking to identify your flaws, you should take into account anything and everything, from the comments and suggestions of customers to the training of employees and the operating hours of your business.

Put them into writing. Opportunities Use your imagination! Even though it’s true that the very best opportunities to grow your pharmacy can sometimes come from outside sources, such as new medications being released into the market, if you’ve been honest with yourself when mapping out your strengths and weaknesses, you should have a good idea on what opportunities you can jump on to capitalize on those strengths and mitigate those weaknesses.

Do you have a website that I may visit? An App? Are there any medical facilities in your town with which you may form a partnership? Try to think of something different! Also, make sure to jot them down somewhere! Threats Independent pharmacies are confronted with a wide variety of challenges, including regulatory concerns, value-based payment methods, large-scale pharmacy chains, and new competitors entering the market for pharmacy products and services.

These challenges are significant and will require effort to overcome, but they are not insurmountable. Find out what the most significant challenges are for your pharmacy, and then devise strategies to overcome them. You might even be able to discover a method to profit from the difficulties if you put some effort, ingenuity, and concentration into it! And when you do divulge these dangers, be sure to put them in writing! It is crucial to put down all aspects of your SWOT analysis side by side in order to acquire the most insights possible and construct the most feasible strategies in order to gain an advantage over the other businesses in your industry.

  1. People will always have a requirement for medication, and like with any other type of commercial enterprise, operating a pharmacy comes with its fair share of inherent dangers.
  2. When you invest your whole being into a firm, it can be difficult to discern the areas in which it falls short of its potential, and it can be equally challenging to see the areas in which it dominates its industry rivals.

The development of a SWOT analysis requires very little resources, but it does call for openness and originality on the part of the analyst. And in the end, you could just find something brand new and great about your pharmacy, or a means to get past an obstacle that has been impeding your progress for a long time.

This uncomplicated action has the potential to result in significant gains. Feel like giving it a shot? Get your free, blank SWOT template right here and right now! (Insert a link to the template for the SWOT analysis.) I was wondering whether your pharmacy has ever performed a SWOT analysis. Is your pharmacy larger as a result, and have you found any previously unknown facets of your business that turn out to be valuable? How has the results of the SWOT analysis affected your status in the community, and was this influence beneficial or negative? We would be very interested in hearing about your experiences, and we might even write about them in upcoming blog articles, white papers, or electronic books.

Please get in touch with BB Drake if you would want to contribute your expertise. Be sure to follow this blog to receive further advice, insights, and bulletins from your colleagues at AlliantRx that can help you develop your pharmacy and save money. Sources include the following:

  1. Http://www. ncpanet. org/home/ncpa-digest
  2. You can learn more about value-based payment models at
  3. You can get more information about this topic at the following link:

How many retail pharmacies are there in the US?

E-Commerce Platforms and Mail-Order Pharmacies Mail-order pharmacies have grown to compose a substantial portion of the pharmacy market, increasing from 21 percent of retail pharmacy sales in 2007 to 37 percent in 2017. This represents a significant increase from the percentage of the market that they constituted in 2007.20 The argument that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) own mail-order pharmacies and therefore have incentives to steer patients toward them rather than towards the lowest-cost and most appropriate drugs is a common criticism leveled against drug formularies that encourage the use of prescription drugs that can be ordered through the mail.

  1. Despite this, the market for drugs available through mail order is expanding beyond PBM-owned organizations.
  2. Further shifts in the pharmacy sector are on the horizon, thanks to developments in information technology as well as the arrival of new competitors like Amazon and PillPack.
  3. PillPack is a web-based pharmacy that started operating in 2014 and provides customers with monthly supply of their medication that is then organized in daily planners.

Patients who take many medications with complicated and changeable dose schedules might find it much simpler and more convenient to adhere to their drug regimens with the assistance of these planners. Amazon completed the acquisition of PillPack in June of 2018.

What is a mass merchandiser pharmacy?

There are a variety of chances to provide patient care that may not be accessible to pharmacists working in hospitals or in smaller retail pharmacies that are open to those who work in mass merchandiser pharmacies. Because of the increased number of patients he would be able to assist in this environment, Larry Rutebuka, PharmD, a pharmacist who works for Walmart, was originally intrigued to this setting.

  1. “Working for a mass merchandiser pharmacy gives you a huge patient population to tap into, and when you couple that with the accessibility of the pharmacist in this setting, you really do have a great opportunity to impact the lives of those customers,” Dr.
  2. Rutebuka said in an interview with Pharmacy Careers.

“Working for a mass merchandiser pharmacy gives you a huge patient population to tap into.” If you are a pharmacist who genuinely enjoys engaging with patients and serving as a resource for health knowledge, then this environment is perfect for you. In addition to catering to a more extensive client base, mass merchandiser chains provide a wide selection of non-medication related items for purchase.

Walmart pharmacist Dmitry Kunin, PharmD, MBA, noted that availability to these items enables a novel approach to patient consultations. While it is possible that many of these products are not relevant to the practice of pharmacy, it is important to note that these products are available. According to Dr.

Kunin, “inside Walmart, we are able to stroll the food section with our diabetic patients and explain the influence their diet has on their blood sugar.” In the hardware section, customers with asthma or pulmonary diseases can get education on how to maintain their homes free of allergens that can set off their conditions.

  1. A mass merchandiser, in contrast to other, often more intimate pharmacy environments, offers a comprehensive approach to the practice of pharmacy as well as health care in general.
  2. In addition, there are some pharmacists who believe that the structure of a chain of mass merchandisers provides pharmacists with a broader access to resources and technology, in addition to a bigger peer network.

According to Alexis D. Hadley, a pharmacist at Walmart, “I feel that one of the most significant perks of working as a mass merchandiser pharmacist is the quantity of resources I am afforded.” [Citation needed] “Walmart pharmacists designed and developed our prescription filling system with the patient’s safety in mind.

As a pharmacist working for Walmart, I am encouraged to provide comments that will help enhance not just this system but also the set of practices that we employ when we fill prescriptions. That is a really satisfying accomplishment. Beth Jarrett, PharmD, a pharmacist at Walmart, said that “with a mass merchandiser, there is a network.” “Both professionally and personally, my coworkers have been a great resource for me.

It is reassuring on a challenging day, as well as a successful day, to know that someone has gone through the same experience, as it allows us to grow as individuals and health care professionals. ” The possibility exists for mass merchandiser pharmacies to provide major advantages to their patient customers as well.

According to Dr. Kunin, patients are provided with a level of convenience that is not offered at smaller retail pharmacies due to the wide choice of items that are supplied by mass merchandiser outlets. According to Dr. Kunin, “in today’s hectic and busy lifestyles, there is a demand for high-quality and low-cost one-stop shopping.” “A mass merchandiser like Walmart not only satisfies this requirement, but it also goes above and beyond by providing value-added services.

Patients are able to discover health care that is both accessible and cheap, allowing them to satisfy the requirements of their shopping lists while still meeting their health care needs. By offering families a method to save money and live healthier, our patients don’t have to make the tough choice of putting food on the table or taking their child’s medicine home.

” Patients may be lured to mass merchandiser pharmacies because of their capacity to stock a wider selection of pharmaceuticals at lower prices, as proposed by Drs. Hadley and Jarrett. Patients may also be drawn to mass merchandiser pharmacies because of the convenience of shopping there. According to Dr.

Hadley, who works in the field of mass merchandiser pharmacies, “Walmart handed out the first $4 prescription list, and it was certainly a game-changer in the business.” “When we issued that list, I witnessed firsthand how it made it possible for many patients to remain compliant on drugs that they had previously been unable to pay,” Having said that, working for a mass merchandiser does not come without its share of difficulties.

  • Because of the corporate structure, it is Dr.
  • Rutebuka’s responsibility to evaluate not just how the activities of his team would impact his specific store, but also how those actions will impact the business as a whole.
  • According to Dr.
  • Rutebuka, “being a part of a mass merchandiser means that you are a part of a much broader team with multiple moving elements.” [Citation needed] “As a pharmacist working in this environment, you are responsible for having the ability to comprehend the fact that there are various requirements, objectives, and anticipations outside of your pharmacy.

There will be times when those needs, objectives, and expectations will not have an immediate bearing on you in the pharmacy; but, as a member of the team, you are expected to provide your assistance. Dr. Jarrett further mentioned that pharmacists working in mass merchandiser pharmacies would frequently be required to satisfy a large demand for prescriptions, which will need the construction of a trustworthy work flow mechanism.

According to Dr. Jarrett, the amount of prescriptions filled by mass merchandisers might be far higher. “Getting the scheduling right is absolutely necessary in order to function efficiently despite the large volume.” Dr. Jarrett underlined that working as a pharmacist for a mass merchandiser has been an extremely fulfilling experience for her, despite the challenges that she has faced in this role.

She concluded by advising pharmacy students who are thinking about working in this kind of environment that they should make the most of their position by cultivating good relationships with the numerous patients they would have the chance to treat. “Do not think of a career with a mass merchandiser as a manufacturing facility or assembly line geared to mass-produce prescriptions,” Dr.

  1. Jarrett warned.
  2. “Do not think of a career with a mass merchandiser as a production facility or assembly line.” “It is important to keep in mind that each prescription is linked to a specific individual and not a procedure or a number.
  3. Spend some time counseling your patients and building a relationship with them.

People are what make our profession worthwhile, and as pharmacists, it is our duty to be more than simply automatons verifying prescriptions for our customers. It is also our obligation to provide compassionate care.