The pharmacy industry is always advancing. New innovations in technology also offer new opportunities to generate revenue. Independent pharmacies are small businesses after all.
You know that selling prescriptions is hardly the only way to make a profit in your independent pharmacy. Furthermore, you probably already offer a slew of clinical services that provide a big financial boost to your independent pharmacy.
Progress is the name of the game, and you’ll want to take advantage of as many paid clinical opportunities as possible. Pharmacies do more than just dispense medications.
Here are some valuable paid clinical opportunities that can take your independent pharmacy to the next level.
Carry Specialty Medications
Clinical pharmacy services offer more personalized and specific care to your patients than the average pharmacy. Oddly enough, the more you offer specialized services, the more appealing your independent pharmacy becomes.
Specialty medications are a prime example of this idea. These are the medications separate from the typical metformins, pravastatins, and metoprolols of the pharmacy world. They’re highly specialized medications to treat specific disease states.
Specialized medications are usually more expensive than the average generic drug, so carrying them will be a hefty investment. However, it will become worthwhile when you fill and sell the prescription to your patient.
Not only are you drawing a profit, but you are also ensuring your patients stay healthy with the medications they need.
Just make sure you are legally able to acquire specialty medications. Independent pharmacies must meet specific legal requirements to dispense such medications.
Check out the NABP’s Specialty Pharmacy page to learn how you can start the accreditation process.
Consider Point-of-Care Testing
Your pharmacy can offer more than prescriptions or vaccines. Point-of-care testing is one of the most lucrative paid clinical opportunities out there.
Community Pharmacy defines POCTs as a “form of off-site clinical testing conducted at or near the site of patient care.”
Some POCTs you should consider offering include:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- A1C (blood sugar) testing
- Flu and COVID-19 testing
Offering POCTs in your independent pharmacy also offers another avenue for profit: let’s say a patient comes in for a health screening — it can be for blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar.
If the test results show less-than-perfect results, send your patients to a doctor’s office. They’ll come back to your pharmacy after the doctor has written up a prescription. By the end of it, you’ll have generated a profit from POCTs and filling a subsequent prescription.
There’s also a decent chance that the patient becomes a regular customer. POCTs are one of many paid clinical opportunities that can further build a loyal customer base.
Given that patient convenience is a huge point of focus for patients, offering POCTs in your independent pharmacy is a venture ripe with financial potential.
Look in to Long-Term Care
Everyone’s health journey is different. However, the one throughline is that the journey is a continuous, ever-changing process. There is one subsect of pharmacy that is rapidly growing, something that every clinical pharmacy should look into: long-term care.
Long-term care pharmacies “provide essential prescription medications, medication therapy management, and other consultative services to nearly two million seniors in America’s skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.”
Long-term care primarily focuses on elderly patients. As a large portion of the population ages, their health needs also evolve.
Long-term care requires a great deal of specialization for both patient care and the medications your pharmacy dispenses. Because of this, long-term care pharmacies are mainly their own entity instead of being a tacked-on service.
In that vein, long-term care pharmacies are the most specialized kind of pharmacy. They are one-of-a-kind practices separate from the retail pharmacy realm.
Though long-term care isn’t exactly a clinical pharmacy service, it’s worth looking into if you’re wanting to branch out of the traditional retail model.
Make Sure You’re Properly Compensated
Offering a slew of clinical pharmacy services is one thing — generating a profit is another. Ensure you’re getting a proper return on investment for your clinical pharmacy services.
Pharmacy spending has long been a topic of great interest. Our ACO blog mentioned how nearly 30% of healthcare spending can be considered wasteful. This hurts both the patient and the pharmacy, leading it to overestimate the value of its services.
In the long run, overestimating can make your independent pharmacy more susceptible to extreme financial fluctuations.
Examining your pharmacy’s investment with its subsequent return is essential in managing your clinical pharmacy’s services.
Earn your pharmacy’s worth by keeping your financial books in order. Whether that means conducting regular audits or risk assessments, ensure your clinical pharmacy services are helping your independent pharmacy in the long term.
The pharmacy industry runs and changes at a blistering pace. It is your responsibility to adjust to those changes accordingly. Clinical pharmacy services will only expand in the future.
Ensure your independent pharmacy is in a healthy financial place to take on these new advancements. The more clinical pharmacy services you offer, the more appealing it is to prospective patients.
Clinical pharmacy services also extend your reach within the community. Make sure your pharmacy and your patients are truly getting their money’s worth.