Pharmacy products go beyond prescription items. Your pharmacy sells a large variety of vitamins, supplements, and other products beyond your shelves. Just because they aren’t behind the counter doesn’t mean they can’t pack a punch. 

Contrary to popular belief, your pharmacy’s over-the-counter products pack quite the healthcare punch. In many instances, they are an express ticket to better health. 

Getting a prescription takes time — your patients need to make a doctor’s appointment and then wait for the pharmacy to fill the prescription. Life can be turbulent and full of detours, even when you’re just trying to get some medicine. 

Though over-the-counter products aren’t always the best healthcare solution, they can definitely help your patients on their healthcare journey. What’s more, they can boost your pharmacy’s profits in new and exciting ways. 

Here’s how you can harness the power of over-the-counter products. 

Product Placement

In your pharmacy, there is a rhyme and reason for everything — or at least there should be. A key element in marketing your pharmacy is having a layout strategy. 

Think about what your patients see when they walk through your pharmacy doors. Chances are the actual pharmacy counter is still a way to go. 

That’s the perfect chance for optimal product placement. Strategically arrange your over-the-counter medications to maximize their visibility. 

Think about the time of year. Seasonal products should be at the forefront of your pharmacy’s entrance. For the summer, display your sunscreen, aloe vera, insect repellent, and Dramamine (a road trip and traveling favorite). 

For the fall and winter, display your cold and cough medications: pills, lozenges, cough syrup, etc. For good measure, put up a sign advertising flu shots. 

Display these medications around your pharmacy counter too, as your patient will see them as they’re picking up a prescription for the flu. 

Product placement is a subtle but proven way to drive your pharmacy’s profits. 

Offer promotions and loyalty programs

Go Local 

One of the best things about working in independent pharmacies is how you can put your own unique spin on patient care. One of many ways to do that is through your pharmacy’s over-the-counter products. 

Your small business is likely a reflection of your community. As such, let your products reflect that. 

Reach out to local businesses and strike up professional relationships between them and your pharmacy. 

Adding these products to your pharmacy can drive profits for both your independent pharmacy and the other business. Brand recognition is the name of the game here. Patients trust your pharmacy to deliver exceptional service, so they’ll trust local vendors if they find them on your shelves. 

The reverse applies too. A customer is more likely to check your pharmacy out if they find out their go-to shampoo or vitamin brand is contracted with your small business. 

Go local when it comes to pharmacy’s over-the-counter products. It will help drive profit and further solidify its place as a healthcare staple 

Patient Consultations

Patient consultations are a tried and true way to push your over-the-counter products. 

A patient isn’t feeling well. They’re feeling nauseous, their head hurts, or the seasonal allergies are doing a number on them. They go to you for a consultation. 

If the ailment isn’t too serious, recommend one of your pharmacy’s over-the-counter products. Continuing from the previous section, you can recommend local products whenever appropriate. 

Patient consultations go deeper than just recommendations. They are a powerful way to develop your relationship with your patients. Your patients trust your pharmacy with their health and well-being.

It’s a big responsibility, and patient consultations build a powerful foundation within that relationship. 

Friendly disclaimer: all of this isn’t to say prescription medications aren’t helpful. They absolutely in most cases. If your patient is complaining about chronic issues or other serious ailments, advise them to talk to their primary care physician. 

As a pharmacist, you already know what separates a mild headache from a migraine or when a mild cough is actually a full-blown case of the flu. 

Over-the-counter products offer a powerful line of defense against certain ailments but to a certain extent. What matters is you have a dialogue with your patients, ensuring they are on the right trajectory in their health journey. 

Your Pharmacy Software System 

Your pharmacy software system should do more than manage prescriptions. Your software is your pharmacy’s right-hand man, playing a crucial role in its workflow and efficiency. 

Things may seem hazy when it comes to over-the-counter products, but we’re here to demystify those worries. 

Let’s look at your patient’s profiles. As you already know, a patient’s profile tells a deeper story beyond the medication name and dosage. 

To the trained eye, they can see which medications have worked for the patient and which ones haven’t. In short, your patient profile gives you a layout of a patient’s health journey. 

This is important when giving patient consultations. It will alert you on potential drug interactions with certain over-the-counter products. 

Your pharmacy software system should provide printable med guides on over-the-counter products. Sometimes the fine print on bottle labels is too fine, making the med guide an essential, easy-to-read piece of information. 

Lastly, look at your software’s point-of-sale system. First, your pharmacy software system should already be integrated with your POS system. If not, consider looking towards other (possibly greener) pastures. 

Doing so will make the checkout process easier for both you and your patients. What’s more, the integration will automatically update your pharmacy’s inventory levels. This will also give you an idea of what over-the-counter products to push and showcase (see the Product Placement section above). 

Check out our Compare Software page to see how some of independent pharmacy’s top software systems stack up to one another. 


Your independent pharmacy’s over-the-counter products greatly contribute to its success. It also plays a great part in your patient’s health (under the right circumstances). 

Through tried and true marketing techniques, patient consultations, and your pharmacy software system, your pharmacy’s over-the-counter products will continue to be healthcare staple for your small business and patients.