Independent Pharmacies: Hearts of Their Communities

DECEMBER 01, 2018
Mike Hennessy Sr, Chairman and CEO
As health care evolves and large pharmacy chains grow and merge, many patients continue to fulfill their medication needs at their local independent pharmacies.

One-third of all retail prescriptions in the United States are filled in 22,000 independent pharmacies, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).1

In these humble brick-and-mortar stores, patients have consistently found not only the same essential services offered at chain and health-system pharmacies but also something truly special: a personalized experience based upon trusted relationships. Companies like Amazon may try to claim their piece of the pharmacy pie, but they can neither replace nor replicate the individualized care provided by independent pharmacies.

In October, Pharmacy Times® attended the NCPA’s 2018 Annual Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, to learn more about the challenges independent pharmacies face and the steps pharmacy owners can take to build their businesses. Community pharmacy specialist Bruce Kneeland, PharmD, for example, encouraged independent pharmacists to distinguish themselves from their competitors by offering differentiated services, such as immunization and medication therapy management,2 echoing the recommendations of the NCPA’s senior director of strategic initiatives, John Beckner, RPh.3

“By providing services such as immunizations, point-of-care testing, and health screenings, you are branding yourself as a health care destination,” Beckner previously told Pharmacy Times®. “Combine that with the relationships you’ve formed, and you have a very strong offering.”

Additionally, Amina Abubakar, PharmD, and Olivia Bentley, PharmD, of Rx Clinic Pharmacy, said that independent pharmacists can better serve their patients and earn additional revenue by partnering with a physician to deliver chronic care-management services.4 Notably, Abubakar was named the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year at our annual Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards, and we are confident that the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation demonstrated by pharmacy owners like her will allow independent pharmacies to thrive amid a shifting health care landscape.

No matter what obstacles and opportunities independent pharmacists may encounter, Pharmacy Times® remains committed to providing them with the resources they need to continue delivering outstanding care in their communities.

One important role that independent pharmacists can play is that of heart-heath advocate; heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States, according to the CDC.5 Given their accessibility, independent pharmacists are ideally placed to help patients maintain their cardiovascular health. To help them in this endeavor, the December issue of Pharmacy Times® contains practical information on hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and more, as well as Independent Corner and a free continuing education activity. Additionally, be sure to check out our series of Peer Exchange videos on heart failure at PharmacyTimes.com/peer-exchange/heart-failure.

As we close the book on another year of educating and empowering pharmacists and look ahead to 2019, we wish to thank you for your support and for all you do to improve patient health. From our family to yours, have a happy holiday season and a healthy New Year!

Thank you for reading, and remember, collaboration saves lives!
 

References
  1. Independent pharmacy today. National Community Pharmacists Association website. ncpanet.org/home/independent-pharmacy-today. Accessed October 10, 2018.
  2. Hall C. Independent pharmacists: Separate yourself from the competition. Pharmacy Times® website. pharmacytimes.com/conferences/ncpa-2018/independent-pharmacists-separate-yourself-from-the-competition. Published October 6, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  3. Marotta R. Let’s get down to business: The value of pharmacy immunization. Pharmacy Times® website. pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2018/august2018/lets-get-down-to-business-the-value-of-pharmacy-immunization. Published August 20, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  4. Hall C. Pharmacists: partner with physicians on chronic care to better manage patients. Pharmacy Times® website. pharmacytimes.com/conferences/ncpa-2018/pharmacists-partner-with-physicians-on-chronic-care-to-better-manage-patients. Published October 8, 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018.
  5. Heart disease facts. CDC website. cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Updated November 28, 2017. Accessed October 12, 2018.


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