Published Online: Thursday, June 1, 2006

The nation's independent pharmacists are growing increasingly comfortable dispensing lower-cost generic drugs—a trend that was confirmed by the results of the latest NCPA [National Community Pharmacists Association]-Pfizer Digest. According to the new study, 56% of medications dispensed by independent pharmacies last year were generics, up from 53% in 2004.

The new digest figures indicate that the average independent community pharmacy dispensed 35,560 generic prescriptions in 2005, an increase of 12.9% over the year before. In contrast, the number of prescriptions filled with brand name drugs by independent pharmacies showed no increase during the past year.

Despite the heavier emphasis on lower-priced generic drugs, total prescription dollar sales at the average independent community pharmacy rose to $3.67 million in 2005, up by nearly 12% from $3.28 million in 2004.

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