2018 Digest: Community Pharmacy 35% of Retail Pharmacy Space


The 2018 NCPA Digest found independent community pharmacies offer a variety of services.

While the number of community pharmacies dropped slightly between 2017 and 2018, independently owned community pharmacies continue to represent a large portion, or 35% of the retail pharmacy space, according to findings published in this year's 2018 NCPA Digest.

Sponsored by Cardinal Health, the Digest, which was released today at the National Community Pharmacists Association's Annual Convention in Boston, also noted that independent community pharmacies offer a variety of services: 79% offer medication therapy management; 70% provide immunizations; 57% perform blood pressure monitoring; and 53% furnish durable medical goods. From a philanthropic standpoint, 68% of all independent community pharmacy owners donated to at least five local organizations in 2017.

“As evidenced in the latest NCPA Digest, independent community pharmacies continue to represent an indispensable portion of pharmacies in the United States and are a valued piece of the health care puzzle, especially for patients in underserved communities,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA said in a press release about the Digest. “It’s a credit to independent pharmacists’ hands-on role in patient care, the quality of their services, and their ongoing civic, social, and economic engagement in their communities.”

The 2018 NCPA Digest also noted that the estimated number of independent community pharmacies is 21,909, down slightly from last year’s total of 22,041, but the largest portion of those community pharmacies are in areas of populations less than 50,000, 75%.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Prescription volume decreased from 59,746 in 2016 to 59,137 (190 per day) in 2017.
  • Generic drugs comprise 85% of all prescriptions dispensed.
  • Fifty-three percent of total prescriptions are covered by the Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs.
  • Eighty-eight percent of community pharmacies are offering some type of medication adherence program.
  • Seventy-one percent of independent pharmacies offer same-day delivery service.
  • Thirty-three percent had collaborative drug therapy agreements.
  • Forty-four percent of independent community pharmacies dispense specialty medications, with the top disease state specialty medications dispensed including rheumatoid arthritis (87 percent), HIV (58 percent), and multiple sclerosis (46 percent).
  • Sixty-eight percent of independent pharmacy owners provide monetary support to five or more community organizations, including 50% of all independent pharmacies that provide more than $4,000 to these organizations annually.

For more information on the Digest, watch the video below.

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