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NCPA Digest Finds Independent Community Pharmacies Stable Despite Economic, Third-Party Challenges
Date:10/25/2010

ople, and 28% in areas greater than 50,000 people.
  • There was a 4% increase in the number of prescription drugs dispensed from the previous year.
  • The generic prescription drugs dispensing rate was 69%, which represents a 4% increase and exceeds the low-60% average generic dispensing rate of the largest, PBM-owned mail order pharmacies.  
  • 30% of dispensed prescriptions were from the Medicare Part D program and 14% were from Medicaid.
  • 76% of independent community pharmacies offer immunizations (up from 46% the previous year), 76% offer personalized home delivery (often at no cost), and 68% offer medication therapy management.
  • Independent community pharmacies providing immunizations are able to generate an average of $10,000 in additional revenue.
  • Independent community pharmacies are utilizing technology to make their staff more productive, with 43% using at least one kind of an automated dispensing technology.

  • The average independent community pharmacy's pretax profit margin remains at 3.2% for the second year in a row. That, combined with a dependence on prescription drug reimbursements for more than 90% of revenue, leaves independents vulnerable to any changing dynamic in the marketplace and limits business expansion opportunities. By contrast, publicly traded chain pharmacies sell much more front-end merchandise that often yields higher profit margins, while major PBMs saw their profits increase five-fold during this decade.

    The government's role is likely to accelerate further with passage and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, in that legislation NCPA garnered bipartisan support for a critical fix to mitigate draconian cuts to Medicaid generic prescription drug reimbursement; an exemption from an onerous and duplicative accre
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    SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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