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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

Independent community pharmacies today have more freedom than ever before.

You have opportunities to use your skills to earn revenue in new ways and improve your bottom line in an industry that’s squeezing profits from traditional dispensing.

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

Around 100 million Americans get the flu shot every year, which produces around $4 billion to $5 billion in revenue. That’s just influenza. Each year, the national chain pharmacies and big-box stores battle to snatch up patients to their immunization programs with aggressive marketing and significant discounts.

Yet the immunization market is still largely untapped. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that vaccination rates have a long way to go to meet the Healthy People 2020 goals. And pharmacies can be the prime beneficiaries of this growing demand. Surveys show that patients find pharmacies to be more accessible and convenient than physicians’ offices and health clinics. And the majority of people in the U.S. now prefer getting vaccinated at the pharmacy, according to a survey by PrescribeWellness.

And the flu shot is only the tip of the immunization iceberg. There’s a glacial immunization opportunity beyond influenza waiting to be uncovered. For example, flu shots bring in roughly $20 of profit per shot. Compare that to meningococcal group B vaccine at $48, human papillomavirus at $50, and hepatitis B at $80, according to one estimate.


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


Point-of-care testing

Many independent pharmacies have started offering point-of-care tests that used to only be provided at physician’s offices or urgent care clinics. Some are offering upwards of a thousand tests per year. Like with immunizations, as patients become more comfortable with pharmacists performing these tests, demand for them will continue to rise.

Patients pay for these tests with cash, and with your accessibility and convenience, you’re able to charge at least the amount of a typical physician copay. The costs for the testing devices and the test strips are relatively low, which means the margins are high.

The most common and most popular point-of-care tests are influenza and strep A. But there are several other options as well:


Learn more: Point-of-Care Testing: A Cash Business Opportunity for Pharmacy


Major drug manufacturers can’t tailor medications to individual patients, but you can at your independent pharmacy. By adding compounding, you can accommodate patients who need their prescription as a liquid instead of a pill, are allergic to a certain ingredient, or need to take a non-standard dosage.

In addition to allowing you to tap into a market that is underserved by the larger pharmaceutical industry, compounding services can boost your profits. An NCPA survey says that half of compounded drugs are paid for with cash, saving you from third-party pains.

Learn more: How to Grow Your Pharmacy Business With Compounding

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:


Long-Term Care

Within your community, there are thousands of patients who may never walk through the doors of a pharmacy but have a need for prescription medications.

These patients live in group homes, assisted living facilities, continued care retirement communities, nursing homes, and other residential centers, and they often have complex needs for individualized care.

By establishing relationships with these long-term care (LTC) facilities, you can access these patients to broaden you base and grow your pharmacy. In these relationships, your pharmacy meets the facilities’ needs by dispensing medication in specialized compliance packaging and giving consultations to individual residents.

“This is a way to provide communities with services they need, and provide a human touch,” said Bill Popomaronis, vice president of professional affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Offering LTC services opens up an incredible opportunity for pharmacists to increase the volume of their business. “Once you reach 100 residents, that’s worth about $500,000 in additional business,” Popomaronis said. “That number is based on the number of prescriptions that a particular patient might use and other factors, but I believe it to be a conservative number.”

Learn more: Long-Term Care Opens the Door to Long-Term Pharmacy Profits

CPESN networks

By joining a clinically integrated network of pharmacies like CPESN, independent pharmacies gain access to a completely new payment model. CPESN pharmacies provide enhanced services to patients and get paid directly by payers.

Participating pharmacies must offer specific services demonstrate improved outcomes. Healthcare costs decrease overall, but pharmacies receive a share of the money they’ve saved the payers.

Learn more: These Networks Break Pharmacies Into the Lucrative Side of Healthcare

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.

Weight loss programs

More than half of Americans are overweight or obese. By promoting nutrition and weight loss in your pharmacy, you can improve patients’ health and your bottom line.

Weight loss programs don’t have to be that different from what you normally do—consulting with patients about their medications and analyzing their lifestyle—but by packaging a program specifically for weight loss, it becomes a flashier option. Since these programs are paid for out-of-pocket, you don’t have to consider the impact of third-party reimbursements.

Learn more: How to Develop a Successful Weight Loss Program Like Dr. Kathy

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.

Lab testing

You already know how lucrative flu shots are.

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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