Independent pharmacies may be small in comparison to the large national chains, but when these pharmacies join forces, they can strengthen their voice and widen their influence beyond a single store’s capacity. Pharmacy organizations and associations help bring pharmacy professionals together to advocate on their behalf and provide helpful resources and other membership benefits. Joining both local and national pharmacy groups is a great way to stay connected to what is currently happening in the industry.
As a pharmacy professional, it’s important not to limit your view to just your local community. Going outside your pharmacy walls helps you get ideas for how to grow and innovate your business, as well as build working relationships that can lead to new business opportunities. Need help on where to start? Don’t worry - there’s something for everyone. Continue reading for some benefits of joining pharmacy organizations and a list of well-known groups to start your search.
How Pharmacy Organizations Can Benefit You
Still not convinced? Becoming a member of pharmacy groups can open the door to new opportunities, provide fresh perspectives and ideas, and bring a new sense of purpose to your career. These are just a few of the ways it may benefit you:
- Get Creative and Fuel Your Passion. Go beyond the daily “fill-and-bill” lifestyle. Being a pharmacist is more than just dispensing prescriptions - there’s a world of opportunity for niche programs and enhanced services that you can venture into. You’ll be able to meet other independent pharmacists, learn about what they are doing in their own communities, and get inspired!
- Stay Up-to-Date with Legal Advocacy. Pharmacy organizations are known for advocating on behalf of their members and the independent pharmacy world as a whole. You’ll be the first to get notified about new developments in legislation and breaking industry news.
- Continued Education Opportunities. Never stop learning. In order to grow in your profession, you have to keep expanding your knowledge and finding opportunities for continuing education. Through your organizations, you’ll have an ongoing selection of classes and webinars to gain CE credits and fine-tune your skills.
- Network and Build Relationships. This is a great opportunity to meet other pharmacy professionals and build working relationships (and friendships!) that can lead to new initiatives for your pharmacy and give you people to collaborate with and ask for advice.
- Leadership Opportunities. This is also a great chance to step up as a leader and lead others in something you are passionate about.
- Access Tools and Resources. Many organizations and associations will provide you with a variety of tools and resources to help you in every aspect of your pharmacy operations. You’ll never be left on your own.
- Attend Trade Shows. Trade shows are a huge part of pharmacy organizations, and attending these events will connect you with trailblazing leaders and cutting-edge companies to bring back new ideas to apply at your own pharmacy.
- Discounts and Incentives for Members. As a perk of membership, many organizations will provide you with deals and discounts on a variety of products and services just for being a member.
Pharmacy Organizations and Associations
There are a variety of pharmacy groups - national and local, niche and general - that offer different types of memberships depending on your interests. This is a list of some well-known professional pharmacy groups that are popular and influential among independent pharmacies. Browse the list below to see what organizations catch your eye and best fit your current needs:
- National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
- A great starting point for locating your home state’s Board of Pharmacy.
- American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
- A resource for all pharmacists to thrive in any practice setting, at any career stage.
- Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN)
- For pharmacies that know it’s not just about filling prescriptions - this group empowers pharmacists to be clinical and provide enhanced services to improve patient outcomes and get paid for it.
- National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)
- An advocate for community pharmacists that is dedicated to continuing their growth and prosperity both on an individual level and as a whole.
- Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA)
- Dedicated to improving medication safety and adherence through quality initiatives and pharmacy performance measures.
- Pharmacy Development Services (PDS)
- An organization that helps independent pharmacies find practical, actionable ways to grow and enhance their business.
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
- A group that represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings.
- National Association of Speciality Pharmacy (NASP)
- A unified voice for specialty pharmacies that provides support and resources for specialty pharmacists to thrive in their niche setting.
- National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA)
- A group specifically made for pharmacy technicians to support them through education, advocacy, and career development.
Your Pharmacy Software Vendor
If you’re getting involved in the industry and learning how to innovate your pharmacy operations, shouldn’t your pharmacy software be doing the same? You want to choose a pharmacy software vendor that is active in the industry, because they will be in tune with what independent pharmacies currently need. This will better equip your software vendor to innovate and adapt based on your changing needs as a community pharmacy.
Your software system should never be stagnant. It should always be growing alongside your business. By attending trade shows and partnering with popular independent pharmacy organizations, your pharmacy software vendor will be able to take away key lessons and provide you with the best product possible.