NCPA Digest: Adherence, Diversified Revenue Critical for Community Pharmacies

Oct 13, 2015, 14:52 ET from National Community Pharmacists Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the 2015 National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, achieving both higher patient adherence to prescription medication and more diversified pharmacy revenue streams are vital to the future success of independent community pharmacies.

"The NCPA Digest affirms that independent community pharmacies are essential to patients and particularly those in underserved inner city and rural areas," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "These innovative small business owners are defining the future of pharmacy.

"In addition, the Digest illustrates the challenges of declining, even negative, revenue from prescription drug reimbursement," Hoey added. "This underscores the urgency with which community pharmacy owners must address two areas. First, improve patient adherence to make your pharmacy indispensable to payers who are under increasing pressure to demonstrate success in that area. Second, take advantage of every opportunity to diversify pharmacy revenue streams beyond prescription drug payments. NCPA offers turn-key programs to address these areas and will continue to seek out new ways to help community pharmacies stay competitive."

"The healthcare industry continues to explore new approaches to challenges associated with care delivery and coordination, which is an opportunity for the community pharmacist to play an increasingly significant role in the healthcare system," said Ron Clerico, vice president of Retail Marketing at Cardinal Health. "Consumers and patients have access to a wealth of information and are taking on additional responsibilities for their healthcare decisions – and they are looking for a trusted healthcare advisor to guide them through all the options. In order to thrive in today's competitive marketplace, pharmacists need a resource, like the NCPA Digest, to encourage them to think outside the box, and explore innovative offerings that meet the unique needs of their community. This is exactly why Cardinal Health is proud to once again sponsor the NCPA Digest, a comprehensive report that helps pharmacy owners make smarter business decisions."

Highlights from the Digest, which analyzed 2014 (the most current full-year data available), include:

  • There are an estimated 22,478 independent community pharmacies, which is a slight reduction from the previous tally of 22,814.
  • More than 314,000 individuals are employed on a full or part-time basis by these pharmacies, which contribute greatly to state and local economies and tax revenue.
  • Prescription volume decreased slightly, going from 62,424 prescriptions annually on average to 61,568. The change is partly attributable to excessive limitations on patient choice of pharmacy that NCPA continues to oppose.
  • Eighty percent of prescriptions dispensed were for generic drugs, an indicator of how community pharmacists help to reduce overall health care costs.
  • Community pharmacies lowered payroll expenses, as a percentage of sales, from 13.4 percent to 13 percent to grapple with tight prescription drug reimbursement rates.
  • These pharmacies collaborate with physicians 10 times daily (up from 8.7) on prescription drug therapy. Doctors accept pharmacists' generic product recommendations 94 percent of the time and 80 percent of the time for other therapeutic recommendations, reinforcing the value of pharmacists to the health care team.
  • The most common niche patient care services offered by independent community pharmacies were: medication therapy management (provided by 80 percent of independent community pharmacies); same-day home delivery (78 percent); immunizations (71 percent); and compounding customized medications for patients (65 percent).
  • Twenty-six percent of independent community pharmacy owners have ownership in two or more pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $81.4 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 314,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis. To learn more, go to, visit, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.

About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $103 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #26 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs nearly 35,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.

Logo -


SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association