Challenging, ultra-competitive and just plain tough; one could argue making money in pharmacy has never been more difficult — especially for independents. Have you come up with a plan to grow your pharmacy beyond traditional prescription sales?
In the second part of a two-part series, we look at five different activities, services or solutions that you — an independent community pharmacy — can implement to maximize your pharmacy’s potential.
1. Multi-dose packaging
Ready to differentiate your pharmacy from competitors? Dispill® multi-dose packaging helps improve patient medication adherence through detachable, individual blister packs. This low-tech, affordable way to deliver medications is perfect for patients with multi-dose requirements, alternate or long-term care sites or patients with over-the-counter (OTC) regimens, such as fitness or dietary supplements. Multi-dose packaging also builds patient loyalty and encourages more timely medication refills, both of which help maximize your pharmacy.
2. Diabetes counseling for Medicare Part B
According to the CDC, 29 million (or 9.3%) people have diabetes in America, and one out of every four people have the disease and don’t know it yet. Medicare Part B covers an array of diabetic screenings, but it also covers pharmacist-initiated diabetes counseling. In fact, “There is considerable evidence that pharmacist provided counseling enhances the patient compliance and improves the quality of life outcomes in diabetes,” according to an article discussing the role of pharmacists in counseling diabetes patients.
The need for diabetes counseling in America is real. In addition to providing critical diabetes education and helping patients live better lives, you’re also generating revenue for the pharmacy.
3. Promote high-margin, non-prescription items
Often overlooked, the front-end of your pharmacy can help positively impact revenue. With increasingly declining prescription reimbursements, your pharmacy can benefit from the sale of non-prescription items. Greeting cards, nutritional supplements, health-focused items and stamps are all great ways to get customers in your store. Having a front end tailored to your patients wants and needs will ultimately help maximize your pharmacy’s potential, establish yourself as a health hub in the community and improve your image. Also, make sure your pharmacy staff have time for non-prescription related questions as it can lead to an increase in front-end pharmacy sales.
Pharmacy tip: Nutritional supplements
- Devote a section of your store to nutritional supplements and run some specials for a month or so. Promote it to your customers and you’ll become recognized as a supplement expert in your community.
Want more ideas on how you can better the front-end of your retail pharmacy? Read: 4 ways retail pharmacies can become one-stop-shops for healthcare convenience.
4. Pharmacy loyalty programs
As an independent community pharmacy, you excel at building strong, meaningful relationships with patients. What better way to further develop and foster those vital connections than to offer a loyalty rewards program? This may be the only marketing activity your local burrito joint participates in that you should replicate. A great loyalty program can make customers — or patients — feel valued and increase the likelihood they become repeat visitors. In fact, members of customer loyalty programs generate 12 to 18 percent more revenue for businesses than those who aren’t members, according to a 2016 study by Accenture Interactive. Creating a loyalty rewards program that differentiates your community pharmacy from other options can help you compete in today’s challenging pharmacy market.
5. Medication synchronization
MedSync Advantage™ is a web-based pharmacy solution designed to help consolidate patient medication refill days down to once a month or less depending on the medications. Lining up medication refills creates a better patient experience, and the coordination of a monthly appointment to consult on current medications can lead to opportunities to establish and grow the pharmacist-patient relationship. Additionally, pharmacies can gain new patients, increase prescription volume and refills and prepare for value-based reimbursement models with medication synchronization.
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