Why You Should Join an Independent Pharmacy Association

You work hard in your local community to take care of patients and grow your business. But what are you doing to help grow your business outside the brick and mortar? Are you a part of your community of fellow independent pharmacists? Joining an independent pharmacy association is a great way to acquire valuable tips to grow your business. If you’re already a part of one of these associations, you may want to think about joining another.

If you become a member of a second (or even third) independent pharmacy association, you will gather new perspectives, connections, and resources. Listed below are just a few of the benefits you will gain from different communities of independent pharmacists like you:

Keep up with industry trends: One of the great things pharmacy associations offer is a way to stay current on trends and changes in the industry. Because state and federal regulations dramatically affect your business, having a resource for understanding and navigating these changes will make a huge difference.

Receive Advice and Recommendations: Are there independent pharmacists in your area who aren’t direct competitors? If so, they can be your best source of advice on things such as community engagement, promotions, and improving profit margins.

Gather Referrals: Joining a local pharmacy association is a great way to build your network of pharmacists who can refer customers to each other. If customers are moving or when a pharmacy is outside their area, those pharmacists can send them to your pharmacy.

Business Opportunities: Independent pharmacy associations can influence local, state, and national legislation, which can provide new business opportunities and bring voices to the causes that matter most.

The Top Four Independent Pharmacy Associations

You can join as many independent pharmacy associations as you’d like, however, the best thing to do is to select a couple to be active in and to get the most value. These are the top four independent pharmacy associations you should consider:

National Community Pharmacists Association:

The NCPA is the voice for independent pharmacy owners, pharmacists, and employees. They protect and promote the interests of independent community pharmacies, including lobbying for legislation.

American Pharmacists Association:

The largest pharmacy organization, the APhA represents community pharmacies, students, technicians, and scientists. It focuses on building awareness of the importance of pharmacists.

American College of Apothecaries:

ACA focuses on providing education and networking opportunities for the pharmacy profession. The ACA offers a way for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, marketers, and students to connect with other pharmacy professionals to discuss areas of mutual interest and strengthen their practice.

Local and State Pharmacy Associations:

If you’re looking for help on how to better connect with your local community pharmacists, check out your local and state pharmacy associations. They’ll help you connect and support change at the state level.

If you’re looking for organizations available for your pharmacy technicians, here are some you may want to check out:

  • American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (pharmacytechnician.com)
  • National Pharmacy Technician Association (pharmacytechnician.org)
  • Society for the Education of Pharmacy Technicians (thesepht.org)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB; ptcb.org) encourages PTCB-certified pharmacy technicians (CPhTs) to join state and national pharmacy associations and play an active role in them. Want to search for more organizations for your techs to join? Search the internet for professional pharmacy technician organizations. It’s a personal decision to join an organization. Techs should research how well an organization’s goals and culture align with their own, the time commitment required, and whether the cost of membership is worth the benefits they’ll gain.

The Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) is also a great resource for community pharmacies. While not an independent pharmacy association, it is devoted to providing fine chemicals, equipment, devices, training, and support. PCCA offers more than 14,000 products, and also provides access to compounding courses and continuing education programs. They also have a consulting department that helps members with preparing medications.

Go ahead and set up your pharmacy crew with outside organizations to participate in. There are many professional benefits, including access to research grants and scholarships; discounts on conference fees and priority registration; opportunities to develop leadership skills by attending courses or serving on boards and committees; networking; developing best practices and standards in the field; and receiving early notifications of activities,  field advancements, and new or pending pharmacy legislation.

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 owned 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 secondary wholesaler 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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