NCPA report highlights market opportunities, challenges

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

ALEXANDER, Va. – Independent community pharmacies comprised 35% of all retail pharmacies in the United States and represented a $73.6 billion marketplace in 2019, according to the 2020 NCPA Digest. Other highlights from the report, sponsored by Cardinal Health: The estimated number of independent community pharmacies continues to decline, falling to 21,683 stores; and the number of prescriptions filled by those pharmacies dropped to 57,414 per store. The report also highlights the wide variety of services offered by independent community pharmacies: In 2019, 79% offered medication synchronization services; 79% offered medication therapy management; 77% provided flu immunizations; 73% offered non-flu immunizations; 54% performed blood pressure monitoring; and 53% furnished durable medical goods. “The report details the many indispensable services patients are able to access at their neighborhood pharmacies and also some of the pressures they face that can make it difficult to keep their doors open,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “The opportunities and challenges alike have been magnified by the coronavirus pandemic, but as we look to the development of vaccines and overcoming the virus, the importance of community pharmacy has never been clearer.” Additionally, the report highlights a number of trends, including their reliance on government programs (55% of total prescriptions are covered by the Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs) and their presence in rural areas (77% of community pharmacies serve population areas of 50,000 or fewer).