Independent community pharmacies are making strides in diversifying revenue

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) data released Oct.13 indicates that despite decreasing prescription reimbursements and the narrowing of pharmacy networks, the nation's independent community pharmacies continue to beat the odds and diversify their revenues.

Statistics from the National Community Pharmacists Association's 2015 "NCPA Digest," which was sponsored by Cardinal Health, indicated that new pharmacy services are allowing smaller drugstores to continue to grow.

“The 'NCPA Digest' affirms that independent community pharmacies are essential to patients, and particularly those in underserved inner city and rural areas," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said. “In addition, the digest illustrates the challenges of declining - even negative - revenue from prescription drug reimbursement.”

According to the digest, the number of independent pharmacies declined slightly over the last year, as did prescription volumes. Those decreases were attributed to “excessive limitations on patient choice of pharmacy that NCPA continues to oppose.”

“This underscores the urgency with which community pharmacy owners must address two areas,” Hoey said. “First, improve patient adherence to make your pharmacy indispensable to payers who are under increasing pressure to demonstrate success in that area. Second, take advantage of every opportunity to diversify pharmacy revenue streams beyond prescription drug payments. NCPA offers turnkey programs to address these areas and will continue to seek out new ways to help community pharmacies stay competitive.”

Cardinal Health Vice President of Retail Marketing Ron Clerico agreed.

"The health care industry continues to explore new approaches to challenges associated with care delivery and coordination, which is an opportunity for the community pharmacist to play an increasingly significant role in the healthcare system," Clerico said.

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National Community Pharmacists Association 100 Daingerfield Rd Alexandria, VA 22314