What do consumers want in a pharmacy?

July 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

When presented with a list of products and services and asked what they would most like to find in the pharmacy of the future, 30% of respondents chose an on-site nurse practitioner, according to the AmeriSource Index, a survey of 1,034 consumers nationwide released by AmeriSource Health Corp., Valley Forge, PA. When asked what their second choice was, nutrition counseling and a nurse practitioner tied at 15%. A specialist on different diseases came in next at 14%. Other top contenders for second place were kiosks with medical or diagnostic information, at 12%, and weight loss counseling, at 8%.

When presented with a list of products and services and asked what they would most like to find in the pharmacy of the future, 30% of respondents chose an on-site nurse practitioner, according to the AmeriSource Index, a survey of 1,034 consumers nationwide released by AmeriSource Health Corp., Valley Forge, PA. When asked what their second choice was, nutrition counseling and a nurse practitioner tied at 15%. A specialist on different diseases came in next at 14%. Other top contenders for second place were kiosks with medical or diagnostic information, at 12%, and weight loss counseling, at 8%.

Internet purchases

While Internet purchases have increased in recent years, 64% of survey respondents said they had not purchased medications over the Internet and did not intend to do so in the future. However, when asked what might encourage them to do so, the ability to order from a local pharmacy online drew the largest number of responses - 21%. Next were lower prices (20%), convenience and improved security (12%), at-home delivery of orders (10%) and obtaining Internet access (3%).

Waiting to have a prescription filled was an experience just about all respondents shared. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed reported an average wait of more than 20 minutes. Eighteen percent said they usually waited 11 to 15 minutes, while 19% said they waited 6 to 10 minutes. Only 13% of respondents reported waiting five minutes or less.

Choosing a pharmacy

A convenient location was the most important factor in selecting a pharmacy according to 26% of the survey respondents. Low prices came in next at 20%, followed by trust and personalized attention and service at 15%.

Among respondents 55 and over, who purchase more medications than any other group, the results were different. Trust ranked high among respondents 55 to 64; 23% said this was their top criterion.

Among those age 64 and older, personal attention also ranked high, with 20% of seniors selecting this as the key reason to choose a pharmacy.

Pharmacists also rank second only to physicians when people seek advice about medications or medication interactions, according to the survey. When asked whom they were most likely to consult about these issues, 48% of respondents chose physicians, while 37% chose pharmacists. Among adults 35 to 64 years of age, pharmacists were the top choice, while women were almost evenly split, with 45% choosing physicians and 44% selecting pharmacists.

Lastly, the survey questioned people about their use of herbal and homeopathic medicines. While 27% of respondents said they did take these products, nearly two-thirds of those who reported using herbal or homeopathic products said they did not inform their pharmacists about it.

Herbal and homeopathic products were used most by adults aged 35 to 54. This group was also the least likely to inform pharmacists about the use of these products. PR