Times like these serve as perfect opportunities to discuss pharmacy service diversification.
As the coronavirus
(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
, 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
are already delivering
and antibody testing
as well as administering vaccines
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.
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.
To help the public understand the features and benefits of wellness packs, supplements
or natural remedies, s
free virtual events or “lunch and learns
educate the community
about preventative health care
and nutrition. They can be a clear differentiator from chain pharmacies.
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
or have older family members with memory challenges, community members rely on pharmacists to consult on how drugs interact
when they should be taken
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
, 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
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
Bonnie Bond is a CPA and advisor for independent and community pharmacies at Sykes & Company. P.A.