Back in 1995, Peter Drucker asked, in his book Managing in a Time of Great Change, a very insightful question, “what is your business?” For pharmacy owners today, that question is even more appropriate.

If you answer that you are in the business of filling prescriptions, The Pharmacy Sage suggests that you think again. Yes, filling prescriptions is very important. However, is one-size-fits-all the best medicine for your patients? Isn’t customizing each medication to the patient’s own body a better idea?

If you have a passion for helping your patients to achieve a higher level of health, then you will answer “no.” Customized prescriptions, which you know as compounds, is a far better way to help people fight whatever afflicts them.

And, that is not the end of the story. High quality supplements in the form of herbal and homeopathic medicines can be a further way of enabling your patients to feel better, live longer, and become more energetic in those added years.

Both of the above can be done for cash, and cash is king for the Wellness Pharmacy. The successful Wellness Pharmacy is close to where the money is located.

The more successful Wellness Pharmacies are equally concerned about dispensing information as they are dispending customized medications. In essence, they recognize that part of their mission is being in the “information business.”

In fact, being in the information business is mandatory for any independent pharmacy to succeed today. You dispense information verbally to patients who are in your store. Furthermore, and especially for those who like to read information, you arm them with reports to take home relating to their most severe aches, pains, and other maladies. Thus, you further influence them.

That becomes even more true if the person you are talking to is a “visual.” She likes to see it, as opposed to hear it. According to a branch of psychology called Neurolinguistic Programming, when you talk to a visual, it’s like the Greeks talking to the Romans. Comprehension and retention is extremely low, according to The Pharmacy Sage’s research. Since 55% of the population are visuals, they want to see it in writing.

Meanwhile, your No. 1 job is to make your current pharmacy obsolete. Become more analytical. Determine the true profitability of different segments of your pharmacy, such as traditional scripts vs. compounds. Also, investigate other departments in your front-end.

I once proved to a pharmacy owner, who contended that his gift shop was contributing 40% to his profits, that in reality, he was not making any profit at all in the gift shop. In fact, as the Distribution Cost Analysis finally indicated, he was losing money. The result: he sold off most of the front-end of his pharmacy and concentrated solely on compounding and nutraceutical supplements. Today, he is a much more wealthy pharmacy owner.

Customizing medication, dispensing information about your higher quality supplements—each for cash—is the way to increase profits.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or