Author Topic: small independent pharmacies  (Read 1303 times)

frugalnacho

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small independent pharmacies
« on: November 15, 2016, 07:27:37 AM »
What's the deal with these?  There are a bunch of them popping up in my neighborhood.  They look tiny and shabby.  There are probably 50 major pharmacies within a mile of my house; Every major grocery store, department store, warehouse store, and drug store has a pharmacy in it.  How is the pharmacy market not completely saturated?  How is a small pharmacy able to just pop up amidst all these giants and survive?  What is going on?

Shinplaster

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 12:33:55 PM »
I can't speak to what's happening in the US, but here, those types of pharmacies are almost always dispensing methadone.  Tiny little places, with minimum front store items, but a pharmacist certified to dispense the methadone.  They also might specialize in compounding - not many large chain pharmacies bother with that anymore.  Again, doesn't require much of a front store, just a well stocked pharmacy area.
When life closes a door, open it again. It's a door. That's how they work.

pachnik

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 01:15:01 PM »
I agree with previous poster.  Same situation around my work - several small pharmacies with very little merchandise stock.  Most likely their main business is methadone dispensing. 

onlykelsey

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 01:19:33 PM »
New ones?  I'd assume they were dispensing something shady or maybe had a business model tailored to a certain regulatory set up (medicare??).

My neighborhood has lots of them, too, but they've been around for a while.  I think they're more fighting the giants off/the giants don't think they can make money in my neighborhood. 

Jack

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 01:31:52 PM »
I use a small independent pharmacy. (Why not? The copay's the same either way, and this way I support a small local business...) I'm not totally sure what the owner's primary business model really is, but I do know that he has great customer service and is willing to do things like home delivery of prescriptions or even staying open a little late for people to pick them up -- things the big chains would never do.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 01:55:06 PM by Jack »

merula

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 01:45:28 PM »
What Jack said. I use a local pharmacy as much as possible (RX plan requires that maintenance meds go through their in-house mail-order pharmacy), because it's better service. The pharmacist will actually look at the potential interactions and talks to every single patient with every single order.

The place also does home delivery in the neighborhood (dense early 1900s area with a lot of older folks), and has an honest-to-god soda fountain.

frugalnacho

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 02:14:57 PM »
I use a small independent pharmacy. (Why not? The copay's the same either way, and this way I support a small local business...) I'm not totally sure what the owner's primary business model really is, but I do know that he has great customer service and is willing to do things like home delivery of prescriptions or even staying open a little late for people to pick them up -- things the big chains would never do.

I've found different pharmacies charge different prices for the same drugs.  Costco is usually cheaper than other pharmacies for identical items.  I don't have a set copay for prescriptions it seems like.  I don't get prescriptions filled on a regular basis either.  Last thing I had filled was some norco when I broke my wrist 3 months ago*.  Before that I don't remember the last prescription I had filled, but my wife had some norco for her dental surgery which happened 2 days before I broke my wrist.  We went to different pharmacies and paid different prices for the same generic drug.

I've never been inside these pharmacies, it just strikes me as odd that a small business would be able to compete when costco, sam's club, rite aid, kroger, other small independent pharmacies, etc are all within walking distance of their location.

*I also had a prescription for motrin, but I asked for the price before filling it, and even though it was only a few dollars for a few pills it was many multiples over the OTC unit price for the smaller IBProfen. 

Jack

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 03:18:29 PM »
I've never been inside these pharmacies, it just strikes me as odd that a small business would be able to compete when costco, sam's club, rite aid, kroger, other small independent pharmacies, etc are all within walking distance of their location.

It might help that my neighborhood has special "neighborhood commercial" zoning that prohibits drive-through windows on new development (all the fast-food is grandfathered in, unfortunately), so CVS etc. won't build here. The grocery store pharmacies are all in biking distance, but not walking distance.

Hotstreak

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Re: small independent pharmacies
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 03:42:07 PM »
The opposite has happened in my area.  The two small local pharmacies closed down.  The newspaper said it was because they couldn't afford to keep up with increasing regulatory requirements.  Like others have said, the local places were willing to do home deliveries for the elderly, etc.  When they closed, they sold their portfolio of clients to one of the major drug stores.