2011 NCPA Digest reports on the health of community pharmacy

October 11, 2011

Independent community pharmacists achieved a new record this year in promoting generic drugs, according to the 2011 NCPA Digest, Sponsored by Cardinal Health.

Independent community pharmacists achieved a new record this year in promoting generic drugs, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s (NCPA) new 2011 NCPA Digest, Sponsored by Cardinal Health. The generic dispensing rateachieved by community pharmacists increased from 69% to 72% this year.

Community pharmacists are also “providing critical, face-to-face patient counseling on the proper use of medications, and on combating diabetes and other common conditions,” said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of NCPA. “These clinically trained, small-business healthcare providers stand ready to reduce costs further, such as through coordinated care models, as long as the unsustainable rate of reimbursement cuts ceases.”

Some of the major findings in the 2011 NCPA Digest include:

– Around 92% of pharmacists’ revenue is derived from the sale of prescription drugs. – The average community pharmacy’s pre-tax, net profit margin fell from 3.2% to 3.0%. – The number of independent community pharmacies decreased slightly from 23,117 to 23,064. NCPA attributes the drop to declining reimbursements rates and rising business costs. – The number of Medicare Part D prescription drugs dispensed increased from 14% to 16%. – Home delivery (76% of pharmacists offer it free of charge) and compounding (66%) remained among the most common niche services offered by independent community pharmacies.