How One Oregon Pharmacy Owner Saw a Local Need for a Second Pharmacy and Filled It

Pharmacy Times, February 2021, Volume 89, Issue 2

Learn how Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. helped one seasoned pharmacy owner open a “backfill pharmacy” in the spot where another had recently closed.

This article is sponsored content.

The NCPA identifies the strategy of opening a new pharmacy near a recently closed one as a “backfill pharmacy.” Sometimes, an existing pharmacy’s exit from a market can lead to opportunity. Learn how Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. helped one seasoned pharmacy owner open a “backfill pharmacy” in the spot where another had recently closed.

For Jennifer Garrison, owner of the Medicap Pharmacy® franchise in Albany, Oregon, opening a second pharmacy wasn’t part of her long-term plan. But the closing of a locally owned grocery store and pharmacy in a nearby town created a real community need for convenient pharmacy access … and an opportunity that Jennifer couldn’t resist.

As the anchor shopping center space, previously occupied by a grocery store and a thriving pharmacy, sat vacant, Jennifer was reminded that nearby residents considered it an inconvenience to travel “over the bridge” to get their prescriptions filled. Her local market knowledge and natural business sense told her that with its urgent care, doctors’ offices, restaurants, a senior living center, gym and gas station, the small town of North Albany would make a great location for a second Medicap Pharmacy® franchise.

A demographic analysis of the area, conducted by her MSI Franchise Business Consultant, confirmed that Jennifer’s instincts were right.

“We learned that when a new grocery store leased that vacant anchor store space, they completely remodeled it, and even made space for a pharmacy,” said Jennifer.

Locating her second pharmacy in the newly renovated space meant that Jennifer saved several thousand dollars in construction and renovation costs that can typically come with opening a new store.

“Everyone at MSI and Cardinal Health has been so supportive, and my Franchise Business Consultant has been great at giving me checklists and issues to consider when opening a new pharmacy. If ever I encounter an issue I don’t understand, he does whatever it takes to help me figure it out,” said Jennifer.

Asked what her advice is for other pharmacists considering opening a “backfill pharmacy”, she says: “Just go for it! There are partners out there, like MSI and Cardinal Health, who are great at helping you open a new pharmacy or finding an existing pharmacy to buy. They make the process easier. You don’t have to do it alone.”

If a pharmacy has recently left a market where you’re interested in opening a new store, Medicine Shoppe International can:

Conduct a comprehensive market analysis, identifying:

  • Total prescription dollars available in the market
  • Total number of pharmacy competitors and the market’s homeowner-to-renter ratio—to help determine your potential to create long-term relationships with patients
  • Number/size of local assisted living facilities
  • Demographic makeup of the community
  • Number of doctors/healthcare providers with whom you have the potential to create referral partnerships

Give you the flexibility to brand your store your way

  • Choose from two strong brands—The Medicine Shoppe® Pharmacy or Medicap Pharmacy®. Both offer national brand recognition that can jumpstart awareness from day one

Provide ongoing support so you can take care of patients and profits

  • Our Franchise Business Consultants provide the business coaching you need, from expense and inventory management to staffing and best practice sharing across all phases of pharmacy ownership.

CON LANE is the director of franchise development at Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. Con has more than 30 years of experience in franchise operations.