Healthy Growth for Independents in '04
The demand for prescription drugsat America's independent communitypharmacies is on the rise. Last year, thetypical independent dispensed morethan 59,000 Rxs—an average of 190per day, according to newly releasedresults from the 2005 Pfizer Digest.
Total dollar sales among thenation's 34,345 independent pharmaciesclimbed by a solid 6% to an averageof $3.46 million per store in 2004.Prescription sales increased at an evenfaster 9% clip last year, however,accounting for 92% of the averagestore's total dollar sales.
The Digest found that gross marginsat independent pharmacies slippedfrom 24% in 2003 to 22.2% last year.Yet, net pretax profit held steady at 4%of sales.
The new Pfizer study also suggeststhat independent pharmacies are offeringpatients a wide range of services,including prescription delivery (85% ofthe pharmacies surveyed); nutritionservices (84%); patient charge accounts(83%); and compounding (73%).