Pharmacies aren’t just for filling prescriptions. They are centers of clinical care, offering a variety of services that enhance patients’ health and overall well-being. These services can be general — from offering flu shots to selling OTC products — or they can be specialized.
If you are not already capitalizing on specialized services, you should be. The question still remains, though: What should you specialize in?
While pharmacies can offer a variety of specialized services, it is best to hone in on just one or a few.
Creating a niche of services allows you to focus on issues that are relevant to your community and patient base, and helps you to better identify and rectify the issues that need attention.
In addition, finding your niche gives you experience in treating a particular problem, helps you enhance your knowledge of it, and allows you to serve your patients better — not only those in your niche, but those throughout your entire pharmacy.
Here are just a few of the areas that you can specialize in:
Of the estimated 56,000 independent pharmacies in the US, only 7,500 specialize in compounding.
However, more and more patients are beginning to require compounded drugs. This surge in demand, combined with the lack of compounding pharmacies currently in business, creates an opportunity for your pharmacy to provide personalized services and generate profit.
Studies show that compounding is one of the most profitable services that pharmacies can offer — with a $14B market valuation projected for the next 5 years.
If you are looking to stand out from your competitors and boost your business, try compounding.
Vaccinations and Immunizations
In the wake of COVID-19, independent pharmacies became the epicenter for vaccinations. As a result, many pharmacies are already positioned to offer other types of vaccinations and immunizations.
If your pharmacy currently administers COVID-19 vaccines or seasonal vaccines, consider expanding your services and administering them year-round.
The convenience and familiarity of independents make them an appealing choice for patients who want to get vaccinated or immunized, and it gives you a chance to improve your bottom line.
Over 7 billion lab tests are conducted in the US every year, making it one of the most in-demand health services.
Outside of testing centers, patients look to community pharmacies to offer services like point-of-care testing, health screenings, and pharmacogenetic testing.
In fact, the market for lab tests in pharmacies is 58 times larger than the market for flu shots. These numbers reveal a unique opportunity that pharmacies should capitalize on.
From a business standpoint, lab testing can create an additional stream of revenue. From a healthcare provider standpoint, it can help your patients to re-conceptualize pharmacy care — seeing it not as a one-stop for prescriptions, but as a complete healthcare destination.
By specializing in testing, you can improve patients’ health outcomes and deepen their understanding of what a pharmacy can do for them.
If your pharmacy works with patients who take multiple medications, you may find it beneficial to specialize in medication synchronization.
From the patient’s perspective, medication synchronization simplifies the process of getting prescriptions and increases medication adherence.
This is particularly important when considering that 50% of patients with long-term illness do not adhere to their medication.
From the pharmacy’s perspective, medication synchronization can help to reduce the problem of adherence. It can also make workflow more efficient and reduce inventory turnover, saving you time and money.
Patient Education and Counseling
As a pharmacist, your goal is to inform, educate, and support your patients on their individual health journeys. While this can be accomplished through day-to-day conversations with patients, pharmacies that specialize in patient education and counseling are more likely to have better outcomes.
In fact, pharmacies that offer these services see 43% better medication adherence and 34% higher treatment satisfaction.
By taking the time to sit down with patients and discuss their specific questions and concerns, you can be an advocate for their health and offer better quality of care. Patients who receive personalized, comprehensive care are also more likely to return to your pharmacy — and to tell others about it, too.
To make your patients’ lives easier, find your niche in prescription and OTC delivery.
Free or low-cost deliveries appeal to those who are unable to pick up their prescriptions in person or just prefer a more convenient option. If patients find that your pharmacy can accommodate their busy schedules, they are more likely to do business with you.
And, as a bonus, delivery cars with your pharmacy’s logo, phone number, and website provide an extra opportunity to market your business.
Weight Loss + Diabetes Management
73% of Americans are overweight or obese and 10% have diabetes. These two conditions, which are often closely linked, have created a health crisis that you can play a part in eliminating.
Pharmacies are well-equipped to treat overweight and diabetic patients. By specializing in this particular area, you can monitor data like weight and blood sugar, help create treatment plans, and get your patients on the path to health using eCare Plans.
When you specialize, you can also sell a variety of products — like weight management items and blood glucose meters — that further increases your revenue.
Vitamins and Supplements
In addition to dispensing prescription medications, you can create a niche in selling over-the-counter or compounded vitamins and supplements.
Many patients are interested in improving their health without the use of medication, and others can benefit from taking vitamins and supplements alongside their prescriptions.
By specializing in this area, which has a $120B market valuation, you can boost sales, increase your span of care, and support patients’ holistic well-being.
If you are looking for ways to move your pharmacy forward, find a niche.
Specialized services demonstrate attention to patients’ problems, a willingness to address them, and a concern for the health of your community. In the process, it creates additional streams of revenue and builds strong business relationships.
And, when you decide on a niche, find a pharmacy software system that allows you to easily integrate the service into your workflow, track the progress you make, and manage your new flow of revenue.
The future of independent pharmacy is found in niches — in offering specific, targeted services that chains can’t. In a crowd full of pharmacies who are all vying for patients’ attention, if you want to stand out, specialize.