Our latest thoughts and inspirations on buying a pharmacy, starting a pharmacy, and ongoing pharmacy operations

Owen BonDurant, President: Owen is 2nd generation (his Dad is part owner in a 9 store pharmacy chain) in the pharmacy business and has worked in independent pharmacies since before he can remember. He has worked in almost every role a small pharmacy has to offer from cleaning the bathrooms, working as a pharmacy technician, marketing, starting and running a durable medical equipment company and managing employees. Owen graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in marketing and a minor in management information systems (MIS). After graduating he briefly worked for Western and Southern Financial Group before deciding he wanted to return to the pharmacy industry where he started medical equipment business for a chain of 9 independent pharmacies. From there he moved to Chicago and started working for Experian QAS and for the last 7 years has been selling software to major retail organizations along with managing the Midwest sales team. Recently the itch to come back to the pharmacy industry, as it truly is all he knows, and Independent Rx Consulting was born.

Start a pharmacy today there is a ton of opportunity

Is there opportunity for new community pharmacies?

The Community Pharmacy marketplace has been declining for years and that spells opportunity for
young pharmacists and entrepreneurs.

Yes according to yearly studies done by the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) the community pharmacy industry has seen continued decline in both sales, total stores and profit. But as entrepreneurs we always have to ask why?

It is true that some of the above is due to flat prescription volume, a low volume of new none generic drugs, an increased number of generics coming to market, poor reimbursement from PBM's and the increased use of 90 day refills.
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Start or Buy a Community Pharmacy

Should I start a pharmacy or buy a pharmacy?

Whether you are a first time owner looking to become an entrepreneur or a current owner looking to grow through expansion this is a tough question. We can't give you an exact formula to know which is best but there are a few important items to think about.

1. What is your financial position? - Buying a pharmacy in most cases is more expensive than starting a pharmacy. However buying an established operation typically will result in a faster return on investment and have less cash flow concerns.

2. In your community what are the options?
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Positioning Your Pharmacy For Big Growth - A Three Part Series to Building Success Within Your Pharmacy

Part 3: Using Strategic Alignments to Grow Pharmacies

Most in the retail pharmacy industry think there are only a couple of ways to grow, add store locations or add a line of business like compounding and DME. These are great ways to grow and should never be ignored when considering growth options but by creating relationships with strategic organizations in and outside the industry you probably can grow revenues and profit organically. Below I have outlined two ways this can be done but our advice is to always think creatively and proactively speak to vendors, partners and industry advocates about how they can help you grow.

1. Wholesalers – I know, I know no one likes thereThe truth is though, that it is in your wholesaler’s best interest to help you grow because they make more money when you make more money. McKesson, for example, has a whole division called HealthMart whose sole purpose is to provide community pharmacies with a more recognizable brand to increase revenue. They also have an application that is pre-built and will allow you to take online refills.
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Positioning Your Pharmacy For Big Growth - A Three Part Series to Building Success Within Your Pharmacy

Part 2: Grow Your Pharmacy Through New Offerings

With Medicare and private insurance reimbursement shrinking, what seems like every month, community pharmacy owners should be looking for other sources of revenue and profit. Below we have listed three options. Some of these may seem obvious, as they are common in the industry, but we wanted to outline how your revenue and profit will increase compared to the start-up cost for each. Hopefully this will give business owners some direction as to what the cost benefit is for these programs. This is part 2 of a 3 part series on Positioning Your Pharmacy For Big Growth. To read part 1 please visit our website at www.independentrxconsulting.com

1. Compounding – the startup costs for a compound pharmacy are significant. The reason for this is you must purchase the inventory, have compounding hoods installed in a current location or open a compounding only location and either hire a compounding trained pharmacist or train a current pharmacist to take over this program. The good news is reimbursement for compound prescriptions is substantial and there is a large cash sale component. We have actually seen gross profits at 85-90% for compounding. You can fill 30-40 prescriptions a day and make $30,000 to $40,000 per month in gross profit which I think all of us would take any day.
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Introducing a consulting company for the independent pharmacy community

In January Tim Clark and I were speaking about the pharmacy industry and about some ideas on how to grow Tim’s chain of pharmacies. Through these conversations we identified that we had tried to seek help from others in the industry including consultants and have never been able to find a company that could really provide new and valuable ideas. So instead of complaining we started Independent Rx Consulting and today we launched our website. The company Independent Rx Consulting has set out to not only to support the independent pharmacy community but also help pharmacy owners meet their personal and business goals.
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