Consumers: Put my pharmacy near the doctor's office

Pharmaceutical Representative

Where should the drug store of the future be located? Adjacent to doctors' offices, according to 56% of respondents in the second AmeriSource Index, a nationwide, quarterly survey released today by AmeriSource Health Corporation, Valley Forge, PA. Shopping malls were a distant second, with 19% of respondents selecting this choice. Trailing behind were the Internet (5%), office buildings (3%), health clubs and gyms (2%), and restaurants (1%).

Where should the drug store of the future be located? Adjacent to doctors' offices, according to 56% of respondents in the second AmeriSource Index, a nationwide, quarterly survey released today by AmeriSource Health Corporation, Valley Forge, PA. Shopping malls were a distant second, with 19% of respondents selecting this choice. Trailing behind were the Internet (5%), office buildings (3%), health clubs and gyms (2%), and restaurants (1%).

The survey polled 1,022 consumers about a range of topics, including the types of special services they would like to see in their local pharmacies, Internet buying, prescription purchasing patterns and where they received the best service.

Internet pharmacies?

Despite the Internet's initial promise to transform consumer purchasing habits, most consumers still purchase prescription medications through conventional channels. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they had not purchased medications over the Internet and did not intend to do so in the future, mirroring the results of the May 2001 AmeriSource Index. In that survey, 64% of respondents said they had not purchased prescriptions over the Internet and had no plans to do so in the future.

Expanding services

What special services did consumers want to see in their local pharmacies? Nutrition information, dietary aids, vitamins and minerals topped the list of choices, with 21% making this selection.

The next most popular choice was general health education programs (15%), followed by diabetes prevention and treatment programs (12%), health screenings (11%), and diet and weight loss information or programs (10%). Cholesterol-reduction information or programs came in sixth place at 7%, followed by pain management programs (6%) and immunizations (5%).

Consumers were almost evenly split on whether they would be willing to pay a modest service fee for these special services. Forty-nine percent said they would, while 48% said they would not.

Selecting a pharmacy

The AmeriSource Index asked consumers what factors led them to select a particular pharmacy to fill most of their prescriptions. In the May 2001 survey, a convenient location was the top choice. This time, respondents were asked to choose the most important factor "other than convenient location." Accepting an insurance card came in first at 22%. Next were low prices and personalized service, which nearly tied at 20% and 19%, respectively. Trust came in fourth at 15%, and sound medical advice and less waiting time competed for last place, at 12% and 11%, respectively.

When asked which type of pharmacy offers the best service, locally owned neighborhood drug stores edged out chains, at 39% to 36%. Supermarkets were a distant third at 15%, with mass merchandisers far behind at 4%. PR