A tube of toothpaste here, a pack of pain relievers there. A simple box of Band-Aids, a bottle of cough syrup. A quick trip to your community pharmacy comes with an opportunity that lasts even longer: an opportunity to turn new faces into familiar patients.

As a pharmacist, you know the power that comes with a simple shopping list: and that’s why you not only invest in prescriptions and patient care — but also in offering top-quality products your customers will actually want to buy.

Your products can include everything from OTCs to DMEs to nifty knick-knacks that make your pharmacy unique. Altogether, these products can help your front-end sales and make sure your pharmacy succeeds: if you pick the right ones. With so much on the market, though, it can be hard to decide what to stock your shelves with.

Luckily, one study sheds light on what’s selling, and what you should be adding to your inventory.

In a survey of over 1,000 independent pharmacy owners and shoppers, the Hamacher Resource Group (HRG) found that the best-selling merchandise items fit in one of the following 8 categories:
  • Cold and allergy medications
  • Pain relief items
  • First aid/wound care
  • Digestive health
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Home health care
  • Eye/ear care
  • Skincare

If you’re looking to boost your front-end sales and pad your profit margins this year, consider any of these products:

Cold and Allergy Medications

If you suffer from seasonal allergies or find yourself prone to colds, you know the importance of treating symptoms — and treating them fast.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and every year, doctors treat 1 billion cases of the common cold (that’s an average of 3 colds per person, per year!).

It’s no wonder, then, that the global cough, cold, and allergy (CCA) market is expected to hit $35B by 2024.

If you’re looking to get a piece of the pie, try stocking your shelves with best-selling OTC items. According to PBA Health, the top cold and allergy medications include:

  1. Robitussin Honey Cough + Chest Congestion DM Liquid - 4 oz.
  2. Vicks VapoCOOL Severe Medicated Drops (Winterfrost) - 18 Count
  3. DayQuil/NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu LiquiCaps - 16 Count
  4. HALLS Soothe Cough Drops (Honey Vanilla) - 30 Count
  5. Mucinex Sinus-Max Pressure, Pain, and Cough Caplets - 20 Count

Pain Relief Items

A bad headache or a persistent fever can get you down, but a fast-acting pain reliever can get you (and your patients) right back up. And it can get your profits up, too.

The global pain management market is expected to reach $52B this year — so why shouldn’t some of the share go to you and your pharmacy?

If you’re looking to get involved, make sure that you have plenty of options for patients. Think pills, patches, and soothing creams that take away the pain.

PBA Health reports that the best-selling pain relief items include:

  1. Aleve Back & Muscle Pain Tablets - 50 Count
  2. Biofreeze Soothing Pain Relief Cream - 3 oz.
  3. Aspercreme Lidocaine XL Patches - 3 Count
  4. ICY HOT Pain Relief Lidocaine Cream - 2.7 oz.
  5. ThermaCare Ultra Pain Relieving Cream - 2.5 oz.

First Aid / Wound Care

Accidents happen, but your patients can rest easy with the right supplies to stay safe. And you can rest easy knowing you’ll see a return on investment. In 2020, the first aid market was valued at $166M and the wound care market at $9.

If you want to get in on the action, bring in an assortment of items so that your pharmacy can serve as a one-stop-shop for all things accident prevention.

Not sure where to start? Try out any of these best-selling items:

  1. BAND-AID Adhesive Bandages (Family Variety Pack, Assorted Sizes) - 110 Count
  2. New-Skin All-in-One Liquid Bandage - 1 oz.
  3. NEOSPORIN Original Triple Antibiotic Ointment - 1 oz.
  4. MODVEL Knee Compression Sleeve - 1 Count
  5. Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose First Aid Kit - 140 Count

Digestive Health

Digestive health is all the rage right now, with more and more patients investing in probiotics, functional foods, and medicines treating persistent symptoms.

The digestive health market is worth $38B — and much of that market lies in patients just like yours.

Get in on the trend by stocking your shelves with any of these products:

  1. TUMS Chewy Bites with Gas Relief (Lemon & Strawberry) - 28 Count
  2. Alka-Seltzer PM Heartburn Relief + Sleep Support Gummies (Mixed Berry) - 46 Count
  3. TUMS Extra Strength 750 Antacid Chewable Tablets (Sugar-Free Melon Berry) - 80 Count
  4. Dramamine Nausea Long Lasting Formula Tablets - 10 Count
  5. Pepto-Bismol Ultra Caplets - 12 Count

Vitamins and Supplements

In the age of COVID-19, wellness is more important than ever — and out on the wellness market, vitamins and supplements reign supreme.

According to a report from PwC, “The [sale] of supplements continues to increase: up to 28% in the last 2 years.” Today, the market is worth almost $120B.

When you dispense prescriptions, recommend vitamins and supplements alongside them — which can help boost your patients and your profits.

According to PBA Health, the top vitamins and supplements to sell are:

  1. Emergen-C Gummies (Orange Zest) - 30 Count
  2. Natrol Melatonin 10 mg Gummies (Strawberry) - 90 Count
  3. Bausch + Lomb PreserVision AREDS 2 Chewables (Mixed Berry) - 60 Count
  4. One A Day Women’s Natural Fruit Bites  - 60 Count
  5. Schiff Move Free Ultra 2 in 1 Joint Health Coated Tablets - 30 Count

Home Healthcare

If you’re looking to move beyond medicine and start offering other items, look into home healthcare supplies. These supplies can include everything from durable medical equipment (DME) to miscellaneous supplies, like face masks and thermometers.

With a $300B market valuation, home healthcare is an area you don’t want to miss out on.

To get started, try bringing in any of the following items, then watch your profits increase:

  1. 3M Particulate Respirator 9502+N95 - 20 Count
  2. LPOW Non-Contact Infrared Body Thermometer - 1 Count
  3. Zacurate 500DL Pro Series Fingertip Pulse Oximeter - 1 Count
  4. First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test - 2 Count
  5. RENPHO Smart Body Fat Scale - 1 Count

Eye/Ear Care

Help patients keep their sight sharp and their hearing strong. The ear, nose, and throat (ENT) market is expected to reach $30B in the next 10 years, so it’s important that you get in while you can.

Try out any of these items at your pharmacy:

  1. Biotrue Multi-Purpose Contact Lens Solution - 10 fl. Oz.
  2. TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eye Drops - 0.5 fl. Oz.
  3. Opcon-A Antihistamine and Redness Reliever Eye Drops - 0.5 fl. Oz.
  4. Debrox Earwax Removal Aid - 0.5 fl. Oz.
  5. Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Ear Plugs - 10 Pair


Help patients look and feel their best by investing in skincare.

The market hit $129B in 2020 — so whether you’re offering facial cleansers or body creams, you can be sure that you’ll see a boost in sales.

According to PBA Health, the best-selling skincare items are:

  1. Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soak (Activated Charcoal & Black Lava Salt) - 3 lbs.
  2. Gold Bond Ultimate Cracked Skin Relief Fill & Protect Cream - 0.75 oz.
  3. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream - 3 oz.
  4. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash - 12 oz.
  5. Burt’s Bees Hydrating Sheet Mask - 1 Count


If you’re looking to make more out of your front-end this year, start by stocking your shelves with products that generate more profit. With the right items, you can get more people in your door, then turn those people into patients.