What makes independent community pharmacies so special? Customers have a myriad of options when purchasing over-the-counter medications or filling prescriptions, and sometimes chain pharmacies seem to be more convenient or just easier than visiting the local community pharmacy. Let’s remember: supporting your local independent pharmacy directly impacts the financial vibrancy of the community.
Community pharmacies give back locally in major ways. The 2014 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, reminds us that 70 percent of independent pharmacies are serving areas with a population less than 50,000. They are vital to the health and wellness of otherwise underserved areas, and have economic impact to the area as well. Here are three ways community pharmacies give back to the community.
- Provide Jobs: The Digest states independent pharmacy owners on average employed 8 non-owner, full time equivalent employees per location, and 2 working owners, making a total workforce impact of approximately 10 full time employees. This represents wages, and contributes to the overall economic flavor in the community.
- Community Involvement: Community Pharmacies, and owners, tend to be very active in their local communities. Consider these statistics from the NCPA Digest:
- 30% of owners and/or employees hold a leadership role in a local business or civic association.
- 28% of owners and 10% of employees are members of a local business association.
- 35% of owners provide monetary support to 10 or more community organizations.
- 59% of owners and 15% of employees are members of the Chamber of Commerce.
- 59% of owners and or employees have direct personal relationships with a mayor or a mayor’s key staff member.
Owners are civic-minded, philanthropic and committed to the community and residents where the pharmacy is located.
- High Level of Service: Independent Community Pharmacies provide a true higher level of service. Owners are finding ways to be a part of health care teams, including consulting with physicians, and delivering quality patient care. Community pharmacies are emerging as leaders in offering their customers delivery, compounding, and durable medical equipment. In addition, these local pharmacies are focused on patient education, point-of-care testing, and electronic medical records (EMRs) as healthcare continues towards outcome based solutions.
- 79% of community pharmacies offer patient delivery services.
- 75% of community pharmacies offer patient charge accounts.
- 36% of community pharmacies schedule patient appointments.
Each of these items touches the pharmacy customer and local community in a major way, and gives the independent pharmacist a competitive advantage over other larger pharmacies.
The NCPA Digest boasts that one of the hallmarks of independent pharmacy is the services to which patients have access and receive in the pharmacy. That, coupled with the economic impact each business has in its respective location makes selecting a community pharmacy a great choice.