How to Open an Independent Pharmacy Business

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In a country packed with chain pharmacies, more and more pharmacists choose to open independent pharmacies. They do this because as an independent pharmacist they can set their own hours and run their pharmacy as they wish, and not be restricted by the rules and restrictions set by a chain. People often prefer to frequent an independent pharmacist because they tend to have a more small-town feel. The pharmacist can take the time to get to know her customers and make sure that they understand their medications. If you are interested in owning an independent pharmacy, learn how to open your own store

Things You'll Need

  • Licensed pharmacist
  • Location
  • Inventory of drugs
  • Computer system
  • Capital
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Instructions

    • 1

      Purchase an existing pharmacy. Taking over an established pharmacy is a wonderful way to get into the independent pharmacy business. You will inherit a loyal customer base, a proven location and relationships with drug wholesalers and other vendors. This option is becoming more widely available as many independent pharmacists are nearing the age of retirement and are ready to sell their stores.

    • 2

      Purchase a franchise. Opening a franchise location is a relatively easy way to break into the retail pharmacy business. The company that you contract with will assist you in getting your store up and running. They can help with everything from securing a location to establishing accounts with drug wholesalers. Being a franchisee is the best of both worlds. You have an established brand name to give you business advice and support, but you can operate as an independently owned store.

    • 3

      Open your own pharmacy from scratch. This is the most difficult way to get started as an independent pharmacist, but it could also be the most rewarding. Begin by contacting your local SCORE office to get advice on what is involved in starting a new pharmacy in your local area. Find a good location that will get lots of traffic. Write a business plan and secure financing. Establish accounts with drug wholesalers. Decide if your pharmacy will stock other items besides drugs, such as greeting cards and health and beauty products. Hire staff to help you run the store. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and boundless energy and ideas, starting your independent pharmacy from scratch could be a terrific option.

    • 4

      Start a Community Pharmacy Coop. This is when a few pharmacists join together to open an independent pharmacy. This is ideal for many pharmacists, since they can divide the workload amongst themselves and not have to work as many hours, while still being business owners.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pharmacies are required by law to have a licensed pharmacist on staff during the hours that the store is open.

  • Pharmacies are required by law to have a registered DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) number if they will be dispensing narcotics.

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