Celebrate the best that community pharmacy has to offer.
Community practice pharmacy is the most prevalent practice setting in the United States. The Pharmacy Manpower Project report of 2009 estimated that 54% of the 250,000 pharmacists are employed in this setting. While a large number of pharmacists are employed at one of the national chain drug operations such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Target and the food drug combination store companies, the death of independent pharmacy has been widely misreported.
According to the National Community Pharmacists Association “NCPA” there are over 23,000 independent community pharmacies in the United States. These pharmacies generate over $92 billion in sales per year and fill over 1.5 billion prescriptions annually. These stores employ an average of three pharmacists per store which means that all first 60,000 pharmacists are employed by independent community pharmacies. In addition, more than 80,000 pharmacy technicians are employed in the sector.
After serving in a variety of management roles with Sav-on Drugs, Thrifty Drugs Stores and Smith’s Food and Drugs for 15 years, my wife and I, owned and operated independent drug stores for 16 years in Southern California. What I learned from the Chains was systems and management, and how not to deliver service. What we developed on our own was Value Creation and community leadership.
Independent Store Practice is Different Than Chain Store Practice
Successful independent stores do not emulate the chains but energize their community. Successful independents don’t compete on price they compete on value. Successful independent owners thrive because they engage their work force and their customers in a common vision of personalized patient care.
This website believes that the success of independent pharmacists against tremendous odds is an amazing story that needs to be celebrated.
Don’t worry about what they say about Independent Pharmacy
In the 1960’s , they said that the development of pharmacy chains would be the death of independent pharmacy. In the 1970’s they said the introduction of Third Party Payers, would be the death of independent pharmacy. In the 1980’s they said the rapid deployment of computers would be the death of independent pharmacy. In the 1990’s they said the introduction of mandatory Pharm.D. degrees would be the death of independent pharmacy. In the 2000’s they said that Medicare Part D would be the death of independent pharmacy. And they are now saying that the Medco-Express Scripts merger will be the death of independent pharmacy.
For every challenge there is a solution. Some will be unwilling to change and may not survive. Some will figure out a new way to provide value to the marketplace and they will thrive.
Your Success Will Be Determined by the Decisions You Make
My goal is to teach the next generation of pharmacists how to create value and thus thrive. If you want to whine, complain and grouse go somewhere else. If you want to learn to create value and succeed welcome aboard.