Through our business and research, we have come across a number of high-level facts and statistics about the retail pharmacy industry, its direction and emerging trends. While our research focused on North America, we thought these emerging pharmacy trends would be of interest to our customers and readers in all markets.
Your senior customers matter
According to McKesson, seniors fill an average of almost 28 prescriptions every year. This is more than double the amount filled by adults between the ages of 19-64. Thus, seniors have a huge effect on your bottom line. This means you need to train staff to accommodate and respond to the unique needs of this population group.
Specialty drugs are a major disruptor
While spending on non-specialty drugs is expected to be relatively flat in the days ahead, specialty drugs are driving drug spending growth. Only about 4% of consumers require specialty drugs. However, spend on specialty drugs comprises more than 30% of all drug spend! Some predict specialty drugs to make up 50% of total drug spend by 2020!
Independent pharmacies are doing well
Forty percent of all pharmacies are still independently owned. In a recent article from the Boston Globe, consumers cite shorter wait times, convenience, and personalized interactions as reasons for switching to an independent pharmacy. This means your should promote these in your own store to convert consumers.
More and more, consumers see pharmacies and pharmacists as sources of primary care. Where offered, consumers eagerly adopt specialized services such as immunizations, strep tests, delivery, medication counseling, and compounding.
Here is where independent pharmacies have an advantage. Because they are small and nimble, they are able to quickly explore, test out, and add the new services their customers prefer. Additionally, independent pharmacies can leverage specialized services to become a destination stop for consumers.
Retail is important
A key challenge for independent pharmacies is prescription price fluctuation. They generate more than 90% of their revenue from prescription medications.
In contrast, big-box pharmacies leverage their retail space. This means they are more likely to survive prescription price fluctuations. You don’t need a huge footprint to increase your retail offerings. Instead, think about products that complement your customer’s prescription needs and stock accordingly.
Additionally, product organization can make all the difference. It allows you to leverage better the retail space you have. Jeff Vernimb, VP of Global Consumer Health at Moberg Pharma North America, suggests expanding facings for better sellers. Also, improve signage along with in-store assistance.
“[O]rganizing products around consumer mind-sets/indications, as opposed to all like products lined up side by side, will result in a better shopping experience for all involved,” – Greg Bradley, President and CEO, Foundation Consumer Healthcare.
Retail pharmacies have a lot going on
Retail pharmacies are really two industries in one: retail and healthcare. Between 1,000s of SKUs, seasonal marketing campaigns, employee training, proper drug storage and disposal, and specialized safety and security protocols, it is not surprising standards and operational best practices may fall through the cracks.
Improve operations by implementing a store visit program. Even better, automate the store visit process with efficient, mobile-friendly retail audit software to promote compliance while cutting administrative costs.
Not sure where to start? We have compiled numerous best practice articles and checklists to help!