17 Powerful Pharmacy Business Ideas That Get Results

17 Powerful Pharmacy Business Ideas That Get Results by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com

Inside: Generate new sources of revenue for your independent community pharmacy. Discover the pharmacy business ideas that drive real results.

Let’s get straight to business.

You know that for your independent community pharmacy to succeed today, you have to adapt. You have to try new pharmacy business ideas, implement original services, and offer products patients are looking for.

But how do you know what pharmacy business ideas will work?

You’re looking for no-fuss ideas proven to get results.

We rounded up 17 powerful pharmacy business ideas that can help get the business results you’ve been looking for. And, we’re providing solutions to help you implement those ideas. Now it’s up to you to make them happen.

1. Increase front-end sales

These days, front-end sales matter more important than ever.

“Independent pharmacy margins are shrinking so much behind-the-counter that they need to get that penny profit wherever they can,” said Kyle Lentz, Category Analyst at Hamacher Resource Group (HRG), a firm that improves results across the retail supply chain.

“Retailers that don’t take advantage of that 10 to 15 percent in front-of-the-counter sales are losing a great deal of money,” he said.

Solution: Partner with Hamacher Resource Group to get tons of research-backed strategies to increase your front-end sales. HRG offers front-end product placement and planning, pricing analysis, and fixture coordination for pharmacies.

2. Buy pharmaceuticals with less hassle

The last thing anyone wants to deal with after a long day at the pharmacy is placing the pharmaceutical order.

But because inventory is the most important part of your business, you have to prioritize your purchasing. And make sure you get a good price.

Solution: BuyLine®,  an NABP-accredited secondary supplier, offers a full line of brands, generics, OTCs, and controls at the lowest prices in the secondary market. In addition to having low list prices, BuyLine also rewards purchases with cash rebates and significant discounts on brands. Earn up to an additional 10% cash rebate on generics and up to WAC -4% on brand. With online ordering and next-day shipping options, shopping with BuyLine is quick and convenient. There are absolutely no commitments with BuyLine — no fees, no contracts.

3. Boost script count with adherence services

Increasing patient adherence can increase your script count and keep your patients healthy.

Solution: If you don’t have the time or resources to invest in robust adherence services, partner with Medicine-On-Time. With more than 250 million prescriptions filled across the U.S., Medicine-On-Time offers pharmacies medication synchronization and multi-dose medication adherence packaging.

4. Return expiring products

When expired products go unreturned, you leave money on the shelf. But an average return will include between 50 and 75 different manufacturers, all with varying requirements. Wading your way through the logistic of return can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Solution: Partner with a returns company, like Return Solutions, to help you navigate the challenges of returning drugs for credit. “Our average customer receives about $20,000 a year in credit from their returns,” said Adrienne Vandergriff, Director of Sales at Return Solutions.

5. Accept credit cards, debit cards, and mobile pay

Patients today prefer paying for prescriptions with credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments. Forty percent of consumers prefer credit cards as their favorite way to pay, according to a 2016 survey by TSYS®, a payment solutions company.

Solution: CardConnect can make your pharmacy relevant and secure with payment processing solutions using patented tokenization and PCI-validated point-to-point encryption.

6. Provide lab testing services

The market size for lab tests is 58 times larger than the market for flu shots in the U.S. Approximately seven billion lab tests are conducted annually.

“It provides an opportunity to expand the pharmacy’s healthcare offering, which helps with customer acquisition, customer retention, and the conversion of front-end customers who may not be using the pharmacy,” said John Beckner, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Solution: If you want to offer lab testing without the stress, NCPA has partnered with Ulta Lab Tests, which provides affordable, physician-approved laboratory testing services for more than 100 conditions and life stages.

7. Offer digital services for prescriptions

People use their mobile devices for everything. Your independent pharmacy needs to offer digital services to keep up.

Offer digital refills, text message pick-up reminders, and email rewards to keep patients loyal to your pharmacy.

Solution: For expert digital services, check out Digital Pharmacist, a digital health company that powers the digital, communication and adherence solutions for more than 6,000 pharmacies, national pharmacy wholesalers, hospital systems, and pharmaceutical brands.

8. Get into pet compounding

Veterinary medicine is a huge market that has finally opened up to independent pharmacies, whether you offer over-the-counter (OTC) pet medicines, veterinary compounding, or prescription pet products.

“The margins are really good,” said Donnie Calhoun, CEO of the American College of Apothecaries (ACA) and the American College of Veterinary Pharmacists (ACVP). “The reason the margins are really good? Because 99.9 percent of all the prescriptions are cash. You get to set your price. They’re not set by a third party. So, why would you not want to do that?” It’s one of the best pharmacy business ideas worth trying.

Solution: The American College of Veterinary Pharmacists (ACVP) offers the tools to get your veterinary compounding business up and running including continuing education courses and networking opportunities.

9. Offer co-administration of vaccinations

As patients come to increasingly trust (and prefer) pharmacists for their vaccination needs, seize the opportunity by providing multiple vaccines in one visit.

Co-administration offers convenience for patients and more profits for the pharmacy. For example, you can co-administer the shingles vaccine with the flu shot.

Solution: Multiple companies supply an array of vaccines for you to choose from, such as FFF Enterprises, Insource, Merck Vaccines, and VaxServe.

10. Provide natural supplements in your front end

As the pharmacy industry becomes more commoditized, independent pharmacies need to find ways to set their business apart.

And patients today are looking for more than a remedy for illness. They want to be well. Offering natural vitamin and supplements can make your pharmacy a wellness destination.

Solution: Seek out unique products like The RefreshinQ Co., which offers personalized supplement dose packs, supplement support patches, and a customized nutrition program for patients.

11. Use biodegradable prescription vials

Being environmentally friendly is in.

People care about it enough that it influences where they shop. Set your independent pharmacy apart by going green one bottle at a time.

Solution: Pharmacy-Lite Prescription Packaging, a manufacturer of vials and packaging for pharmacies, offers biodegradable prescription vials.

12. Join a network of pharmacies

Expand your resources, knowledge, and abilities by joining a network of pharmacies.

Solution: NCPA is encouraging pharmacies to get involved with a Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). “They link pharmacies that provide enhanced services into a network of community pharmacies that can assist payers in improving patient health and reducing overall health care spend, especially for patients with the greatest care needs,” said John Norton, Director of Public Relations at NCPA.

13. Improve pharmacy inventory management

Your pharmacy’s inventory makes up the majority of your expenses. Managing it effectively can lead to better cash flow and greater profitability.

Doing it manually might score you some points in work ethic, but it’s not going to score you profits.

Solution: Automation makes managing inventory easy and effective. ScriptPro develops robotics-based pharmacy management and workflow systems that can help your pharmacy make the most of your inventory management.

14. Personalize messages to patients

As an independent pharmacy, you provide personal care. But as your business becomes more digitized, you inevitably lose opportunities to stay personally connected.

Solution: Amplicare Connect can bring back the personal touch to your business and improve patient satisfaction. It’s an automated phone call campaign tool that enables you to send messages and refill reminders to patients in your own voice.

15. Create a patient loyalty rewards program

The average repeat customer spends 67 percent more money than a new one. And, it costs less to keep a patient than to gain a new one.

Solution: Cultivate patients’ loyalty. Repeat Rewards is a full service, omni-channel marketing provider that offers personalized marketing strategies focused on keeping patients loyal to your pharmacy.

16. Offer clinical services

The pharmacy industry is trending toward clinical services. In a world of shrinking reimbursements, clinical services offer another way to generate extra revenue and improve outcomes.

If you don’t have the resources to develop the services you want, use a third-party vendor or company to help.

Solution: STRAND Clinical Technologies (formerly Creative Pharmacist) offers pharmacies pre-developed programs for diabetes, heart health, asthma and COPD, transitions of care, weight loss, and immunizations that they can implement right away.

17. Stock and sell supplementary diabetes products

Thirty million people in the U.S. have diabetes. And, another 86 million adults are on the verge of diabetes, living with prediabetes.

Help them—and help your pharmacy’s sales—by stocking diabetes-related supplies in your front end.

Solution: Trividia Health, a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of advanced performance products for people with diabetes, offers a wide selection of diabetes products your pharmacy can offer.

Start implementing these pharmacy business ideas and solutions and you’ll start seeing results today.

These Are the Most Important Pharmacy Metrics to Measure

This white paper includes 30+ formulas to calculate the most important metrics for independent pharmacies. You’ll learn to think like a retailer, discover the methods to track and measure meaningful pharmacy metrics, and learn ways to use pharmacy metrics to get insight into business performance.

A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and run by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.

An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.


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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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