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These Are the Most Profitable Pharmacy Services to Offer

These Are the Most Profitable Pharmacy Services to Offer by Elements magazine |

November 1, 2017

Inside: Independent pharmacies need to earn revenue in new ways. Attract more patients by offering the profitable pharmacy services they want and need.

Independent community pharmacies today have more freedom than ever before.

You have opportunities to use your skills to earn revenue in new ways. And to attract more patients by offering the profitable pharmacy services they want and need.

But sometimes it’s difficult to know what services will work best for your business. Should you offer pharmacogenomics? Or is that too advanced? Do you have enough patients to offer specialty medications? Would patients use a diabetes care program?

We’ve curated a selection of profitable pharmacy services to offer, based on a list of diversified revenue opportunities from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Find out which of these services best meet your patients’ needs and which ones fit with your pharmacy’s skills.

Vaccines and immunizations

Retail giants Walgreens and CVS aggressively market their vaccines for a reason. In 2012, Walgreens reported a 6 percent increase in sales in one year simply from an increase in flu shots administered.

When new patients come in for an immunization, you can sell them other products and services they may need. And, you may earn a new, loyal customer, too.

Almost every patient, regardless of age, gender, or health status, can get an influenza vaccine. That means a lot of potential traffic to your pharmacy. And the universal need for flu shots makes it one of those profitable pharmacy services that will fit with an independent community pharmacy regardless of location or patient base.

Currently, 74 percent of independent community pharmacies offer immunizations, according to the 2017 NCPA Digest. Is your pharmacy one of them?


How to Make Immunizations a Pharmacy Profit Center

Discover how to make immunizations a major source of profit for your business. Learn proven strategies and insights from pharmacy owners who’ve turned their pharmacies into immunization destinations, including 20 practical tips to reap routine profits from your program. Read the story

Transitions of care

Most patients discharged from the hospital for acute conditions or chronic care situations need prescription medication and management.

Independent community pharmacists can provide medication counseling at discharge. They can also provide compliance packaging and follow-up contact over the next few weeks.

If you meet patients and care for them as they transition, you’ll earn their loyalty.

And selling those services can translate into selling more supplementary products. This extra revenue makes transitions of care a profitable service for many pharmacies.

Travel health

Americans took 2.2 billion trips in 2016.

And those travelers spent an average of $550 each for health care services before they departed, mostly in cash.

Offering solutions to traveling patients, like immunizations and health information, can earn additional revenue for your pharmacy.

It’s one of the most profitable pharmacy services you can offer.

Valu-Med Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy located in Midwest City, Okla., said travel vaccinations provide significant revenue for the business. The pharmacy offers vaccinations for yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningitis, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and shingles. And the pharmacy has even seen patients come from three hours away to receive a travel vaccine.

Adherence services

Medication adherence is the most popular service offered by independent community pharmacies. Ninety-two percent of independent pharmacies offer adherence services, according to the 2017 NCPA Digest.

A medication synchronization program helps pharmacies cut costs (which boosts profits), sell additional products and services, and help patients by monitoring and ensuring their refills.

Specialty pharmacy

Patients need specialty medications to treat long-term chronic conditions. Often those needs provide years of high-dollar revenue for pharmacies.

Offering specialty pharmacy services is one of the most up-and-coming profitable pharmacy services to consider.

One year of treatment with a specialty drug can exceed $100,000. In 2015, specialty drugs accounted for about 38 percent of total drug costs even though they only made up 1 percent of prescriptions dispensed.

In addition to specialty medications, your pharmacy can provide medication adherence services and personal consultations for better care.

Diabetes care

People with diabetes spend the highest dollar amounts in the pharmacy.

According to research by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), diabetes patients spent approximately $29.4 billion in pharmacies in 2012.

Diabetes care can boost pharmacy revenue. Those patients will appreciate the extra care and keep their prescriptions at your pharmacy. And, the supplementary services and products diabetes patients need can add to your profits.

Pet care 

People treat their pets like family. Americans spent $66 billion on their pets in 2016.

Catering to your patients’ furry friends can boost your pharmacy’s bottom line.

Types of pet services you can provide:


Hospice care

Hospice patients require high-cost, high-maintenance medications.

And independent community pharmacies can provide much-needed medication management services for hospice organizations.

Boost your profits by partnering with hospice to provide:



Pharmacogenomic testing can add a unique source of revenue to your pharmacy.

Most pharmacies don’t offer it yet, which means this service can set your pharmacy apart.

Pharmacogenomics could easily earn your pharmacy $8,500 per month, with room to grow.

And the lab tests can provide additional insights into your patient’s drug therapy, which may pinpoint a need for more prescriptions or supplements.

Smoking cessation

When you offer smoking cessation services to patients, you make your pharmacy their source for over-the-counter (OTC) smoking cessation products, like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches.

Those products accrued more than $800 million in 2013 in the U.S.

Providing nicotine counseling or starting a complete smoking cessation program can get more patients into your pharmacy so you can sell more products and earn extra revenue.

Lab testing

You already know how lucrative flu shots are.

Get this. 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.

That’s a lot of revenue for your pharmacy to scoop up.

Consider using lab tests to:


Find the right profitable pharmacy services for your business and see how new revenue streams can make a difference to your bottom line.


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.

Get the free white paper. 



An Independently Owned Organization Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is an independently owned pharmacy services organization based in Kansas City, Mo., that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, distribution services, and more.

PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.

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