Pharmacies show sales, volume increases

January 1, 2000
Pharmaceutical Representative

Independent pharmacies continued to grow in both overall sales and prescription volume, according to the 1999 NCPA-Searle Digest, which reports 1998 data. The Digest compiles and summarizes comprehensive financial data from independent pharmacies nationwide. Participating pharmacies evaluate their stores' financial performance based on revenues, expenses and other demographic information.

Independent pharmacies continued to grow in both overall sales and prescription volume, according to the 1999 NCPA-Searle Digest, which reports 1998 data. The Digest compiles and summarizes comprehensive financial data from independent pharmacies nationwide. Participating pharmacies evaluate their stores' financial performance based on revenues, expenses and other demographic information.

Independent pharmacy sales have soared by more than 20% over the last two years according to the Digest, with pharmacy sales averaging $1.75 million in 1998. Prescription sales revenue also grew, accounting for 82% ($1.43 million) of total average sales – up 9.5% from last year.

Prescription volume also increased, going up by 6,000 prescriptions over the past two years and reaching 46,000 prescriptions dispensed per pharmacy in 1998.

Other key findings cited in the study:


• The average proprietor or manager's total income increased to more than $141,000.


• The percentage of total prescriptions covered by Medicaid and other third-party programs continues to increase, rising to 71% from 67% the previous year.


• Gross margin decreased as a percentage of sales to 24.9%. Net profit represented 3.1% of sales.

"The results of the Digest survey prove that enterprising independent pharmacists are continuing to find ways to grow their business and control their costs," said Whitaker Moose, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association. "We continue to see pharmacists expanding their practices into disease state management and offering their patients more and better services. These are all indicators that independent pharmacies are well-positioned for success in the new millennium." PR