Diversifying Services in Your Pharmacy


Times like these serve as perfect opportunities to discuss pharmacy service diversification. 

As the coronavirus

 disease 2019

 (COVID-19) hits record levels in many cities, pharmacists play an integral role supporting nationwide vaccinations. Times like these serve as perfect opportunities to discuss pharmacy service diversification. 



In community and independent pharmacies, additional services can make a positive impact on patients, particularly in smaller communities

 or city neighborhoods

. The pharmacist likely knows patients and their families as a part of that community. For these reasons

 and others

, independent pharmacies can and sho

uld be included as testing and 

vaccination sites, but also much more. 

While the main goal is


 patient care, service diversification can 

drive sales growth and, in turn, 

increase top line revenue


Testing and Vaccinations


Following guidance from their state departments of health, s

ome independents 

are already delivering




 and antibody testing

 as well as administering vaccines

. T

his opportunity can





diagnostic testing and vaccination services


 common maladies (





 flu shots, strep throat testing). Offering these services in pharmacies improves

 convenience for patients





stop for testing









Before offering these services, pharmacists should reach out to 



 health care providers and d

etermine the best service options

 to support patients. They should also educate themselves on state guidelines to know which services or products are allowed through pharmacies in their state. 


Compounding Services


Some independent and community pharmacies have experienced great success with compounding services. 

From creams and health supplements to pet vitamins and treats, compounding is another reason for patients to visit the pharmacy for additional health and wellness needs. 


For example, compounding services support patients who have an intolerance or allergies to normally prescribed medications for their ailments.  


Educational Events


To help the public understand the features and benefits of wellness packs, supplements


 or natural remedies, s

ome pharmacies


 free virtual events or “lunch and learns



These events

 educate the community

 about preventative health care

 and nutrition. They can be a clear differentiator from chain pharmacies. 


Adherence Packaging  


Patients want convenience, but they also want to be sure that they and their loved ones are taking medications at the right time and in the right combination for long-term health benefits. 


Whether they are caring for children

, have

 chronic issues



 or have older family members with memory challenges, community members rely on pharmacists to consult on how drugs interact


 when they should be taken


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By investing in adherence packaging technologies, pharmacists can provide individually wrapped packets of medications for each dose



with the date and time of dose right on the packets. 

The patient or caregiver simply opens that dose and has peace of mind that 


medication is properly


. This is especially important for patients who take several medications a day, or who take medications in different combinations throughout the week. 


The benefits of adherence packaging evolve from patient requests, such as how people can combine their drug scripts with health supplements. These conversations can support the pharmacist with exploring options that best fit the community’s population, such as young families, active older adults, college students


 or all of the above. Pharmacists may even consider creating “wellness packs” branded under the pharmacy name. An immunity booster pack, for example, provides patient convenience while also building loyalty for the business. 


While the up-front equipment investment is substantial

 for the pharmacy

, it can be managed through lease-t

o-own or other financing and accounting




with great tax benefits, too.


Med Sync Services


Combining adherence packaging with

 med sync services






 automated refills)

, scripts can be refilled and delivered to patients in a timely manner

, which supports

 patient convenience and

 more consistent revenue

. As a bonus, some independent and community pharmacies



 offer home delivery. They can invest in delivery vehicles branded to the pharmacy

, and then 

write off the expense through the



 tax returns


Service Diversification Benefits Independents


With increasing competition from big box pharmacies as well as non-pharmacy e-commerce retailers, service diversification can help community and independent pharmacies stay open and remain independent. Through community engagement, use of technology and exploring new ways to partner with physicians and other health practitioners, the phar

macist remains

 central to


 patient care.  


Bonnie Bond is a CPA and advisor for independent and community pharmacies at Sykes & Company. P.A.





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