New York pharmacy business growing briskly, analysis shows

Bucking the trend of other industries in a slow economy, the pharmacy business in New York state is thriving across the board, according to a new American Pharmacy News analysis.

The number of pharmacies and pharmacists in New York has increased by double-digit percentages over the past six years, according to the analysis, which relied on state records.

Further, the increases occurred in most counties in the state, indicating the trend was not based on regional growth.

The numbers show:

• In the last six years, the number of New York pharmacists statewide increased to 6,406 from 5,301 — a 20.8% increase.

• In the last six years, the number of pharmacists in New York increased 15.4%, from 21,891 to 25,263.

When the figures are analyzed across the state’s 62 counties, they indicate the growth is not limited to any particular region. In 55 of the 62 counties, the number of pharmacists was constant or increased over the past six years.  And when pharmacies are considered, 41 of 62 counties showed growth.

These findings support recent statements made by John Norton, spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), in an interview published in the Gloversville Leader Herald. Norton noted that New York state is home to 2,207 independent pharmacies, compared to 1,617 chain pharmacies, and the in last five years the percentage of pharmacies owned by independents has remained constant at 57.7%.

Buffalo, NY pharmacist Bradley Arthur, who serves as president-elect of NCPA, said much the same in a recent interview in the Buffalo News. “The Northeast as a whole has always been fertile ground for the independents. I don’t know the actual numbers, but what I’ve heard is that the number of independents has been very steady in the eight counties of Western New York.”

New York has the third most pharmacies in the country, according to the California-based private health care research firm SK&A. This is another sign of pharmacy business vitality, considering New York is the fourth most populous state.

The analysis of New York pharmacy business also showed that the annual number of new pharmacist licenses increased 9.3% over the past six years.

Entry level pharmacists in New York make an average of $95,500 annually, according to the analysis, and experienced pharmacists make an average of $131,580.