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7 Ways to Boost Your Pharmacy Profits in 2020

As community pharmacies continues to face declining reimbursements and PBM penalties, pharmacy owners need to diversify and seek alternate revenue streams beyond traditional prescription sales to remain profitable. The community pharmacy industry is undoubtedly hurting, but if we continue the fight as we always have, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Sustainability is key—what more can we do to build profits back into the independent pharmacy without relying on PBM managed profits? Identifying new profit centers and sources of revenue may not be easy, but there are so many resources available as well as great technology built into the Datascan Pharmacy Software package to aid in changing the landscape of your current business model. Consider implementing added services and programs into your pharmacy, take advantage of the options within your pharmacy software, and start building profits back into your pharmacy. Let's take a look at the best new revenue sharing opportunities for 2020.


1. Administer Vaccines/Immunizations

Pharmacies all over the US are seeing much success with vaccine and immunization administration at their pharmacies. This value-add service is a major convenience for your patients and without a doubt helps combat your shrinking profits. Community-based pharmacies gain recognition among physician practices and patients for the conveniences and affordability of providing vaccine services. Depending on the age of your patient, pharmacists are able to administer approximately 20 different vaccines, from Influenza to MMR, HPV, DTaP, and many more! Many pharmacy dispensing systems make it even easier by allowing you to not only bill for vaccine administration, but by also fully integrating reporting to your state registry.


2. Revamp Your Pharmacy Front-End

One more time for the people in the back: Building out your front end can produce enormous profits in your pharmacy! With the amount of inventory technology at your fingertips in the pharmacy point of sale system there is no reason items should be sitting on your shelves collecting dust. Community pharmacies have an advantage over chains: they have the ability to stock or quickly get special order items for the patients and customers. Independent pharmacies have a unique ability to cater to their patient demographic and order items the area demands. For example, pharmacies in expensive areas can keep high-end cosmetic lines, perfumes, home furnishings, and so much more–whereas lower income area pharmacies may see better results by stocking generic products and half priced cards, all while promoting to your local clientele the differences in price between you and your local chain pharmacy.


3. Offer Point of Care Testing

Were you aware that pharmacists are able to perform point of care tests right at the pharmacy? Many states allow pharmacists to administer diagnostic tests that produce rapid results that may identify acute infections. Tests for things like Influenza and Strep A can be quickly performed while your patients are in the pharmacy, and many states even allow pharmacists to perform screening tests for chronic conditions such as HIV and Hep C. Pharmacists can even play a part in monitoring chronic medications and diseases by checking A1c and INR levels. These types of tests will make it much easier for pharmacists to help monitor and make recommendations for their patient’s chronic medications. In today's modern pharmacy software, such as Datascan’s, you can enter and monitor clinical data for your patients.


4. Expand Specialty Meds

According to NCPA, “more than 40 percent of the drugs currently under development are specialty drugs.” As this number only seems to increase year after year, community pharmacies can see an increase in profits by becoming accredited as a specialty pharmacy. Although it’s no easy feat, as the insurance companies make it difficult for independents to enter the marketplace, we see more and more pharmacies putting in the work to successfully obtain specialty accreditation. There are many companies that you can partner with to assist in the accrediting process. Many software vendors such as Datascan have even built specialty modules directly into the pharmacy software to help pharmacists manage their specialty patients and medications. It’s easy to create clinical assessments, both initially and on the follow-ups.  


5. Partner with LTC/Nursing Facilities

Working with Long term care, assisted living, and nursing facilities is a profitable area of pharmacy. Marketing your pharmacy to try and gain contracts with facilitates is important; why is your pharmacy different and what can you do better and more efficiently? There are conveniences that the chains and mail order pharmacies are not offering such as blister pack, med reconciliation, and delivery to facilities. Datascan’s pharmacy software even offers a Nursing Portal so the facilities can view patient profiles, modify dietary or demographic notes, and even queue up or stop an RX from being filled. It synchronizes with our pharmacy management software thus eliminating the old school faxes and phone calls to coordinate care with the pharmacy and the home. Some systems can even help you perform medication synchronization with patients within a facility to better manage delivery services.  


6. Provide Support for Smoking Cessation

Many smokers need help quitting, and as a pharmacist you can play a huge part in the success of your patients breaking their habit. Educate your patients on the reasons why they should quit smoking, and the ways you can help them! NTCC (National Tobacco Cessation Collaborative) offers certifications and training programs.


7. Establish a Weight Loss Clinic

More and more independent pharmacies are offering weight loss clinics to their patients. They aid in dietary and nutritional information, monitoring clinical data including weight loss and guide patients to a healthier life. These are programs that are not paid for and managed by PBM’s so you can control your profits while helping your patients.


Researching and implementing these revenue generating opportunities into your pharmacy is a great way to help replace the shrinking profit margins on prescriptions. At Datascan, we continue to encourage community pharmacists to see outside the prescription tunnel and see that there are ways to run a successful and profitable independent pharmacy despite the PBM clawbacks. Do your research and look into additional certifications and opportunities to branch out to new demographics, new areas of pharmacy, and offer services your competitors are not. Remember, your pharmacy software can do a lot more than generate labels. Harness the technology in your pharmacy system along with these ideas to rebuild your independent pharmacy.