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Respondents to this year's business outlook survey are generally upbeat about the business their pharmacies are doing and their prospects for the coming year.
Those findings are among the results of this year's Drug Topics Business Outlook Survey. Conducted between September 23 and October 5, 2009, the survey of nearly 800 Drug Topics readers reveals that community and hospital-based pharmacists alike share in the optimism about the profession.
More than 80% of the 541 community pharmacists who responded to the survey report that overall they are expecting 2009 to turn out to be an excellent, very good, or good business year for their pharmacies. Fully 73% of these respondents expect that good news to carry over into 2010.
Compared with their 2009 estimates, community pharmacists are expecting the following in 2010:
The most frequently cited positive factors that have affected or will affect respondents' business this year are major brand drugs going off patent (cited by 63% of the respondents) and the possible epidemic of the H1N1 flu (cited by 49%). The most frequently cited negative factors that have affected or will affect respondents' business this year are WalMart's free nationwide mailing of 90-day prescriptions for $10 (72%) and free antibiotics programs offered by competitors (55%).
Community pharmacists say the biggest challenges their pharmacies will face in 2010 include competition resulting from the decision made by several chains to offer many generics at low or no cost (61%) and competition from mail-order pharmacies (60%).