September 17, 2021

Staff Pharmacist Isn't Your Only Option: Why Independent Pharmacy Ownership May be Right for You

Published Online: Monday, Nov 27, 2017

Whether you just graduated with your doctor of pharmacy degree or you have already been in the professional world for many years, being a pharmacist comes with countless opportunities to pursue a career in a variety of different settings. 

It is common for new pharmacists to limit their job search to staff pharmacy positions in retail chain or hospital pharmacies because they believe that these career paths are their only options. While these roles can provide great experience and may be a good fit for some pharmacists, others have reported experiencing burnout from working in these practice settings.  

This feeling of burnout can be related to rules from big corporations or institutions, limited time for breaks, and a significant number of patients you never really connect with.  

Due to these concerns and the growing market saturation, new graduates and pharmacists who have established their careers may be looking to veer away from traditional pharmacy jobs to explore new options. For many individuals, this can be a lifestyle versus a pure job choice decision.

A potential avenue that some pharmacists may consider is starting an independent pharmacy or purchasing an established pharmacy to become their own boss. 

In starting your own pharmacy, you can choose what your facility will specialize in and what services it will offer patients. Additionally, independent pharmacy owners can adjust facility operations to meet the changing needs of employees, patients, and the community, whereas traditional settings, such as large chain stores, may not be able to make the necessary adjustments. 

A locally owned independent pharmacy can also offer patients health classes and focus on providing educational outreach programs geared toward conditions that are prevalent in a certain community. Although existing non independent locations such as chain pharmacies provide education for their patients, independents can really personalize the content to ensure that the specific population understands the message.

Independent pharmacies also have the freedom to join different payer networks that may have better offerings, while chains are often locked into networks for many years. Independents can also choose to focus on specialty products with the option of becoming an accredited specialty pharmacy and care for patients with complex needs that may require a higher level of care than what can be provided at a traditional community or chain pharmacy. 

Importantly, many independent pharmacy owners are able to establish better connections with their patients to become a valuable and trusted asset to their communities. 

About the Specialty Pharmacy Times Industry Guide

The Specialty Pharmacy Times Industry Guide includes comprehensive editorial content relative to all specialty pharmacy stakeholders. Content includes information relative to market trends, commercialization, distribution, order to cash, HUB Services, managed care strategies and DIR fees. The guide also includes profiles, and a complete list of stakeholders along the patient journey: specialty pharmacies, wholesaler distributors, manufacturers, support services, group purchasing, and trade associations.

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