Anyone wanting to own their own pharmacy? or already do

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by fieldkj, May 16, 2008.

  1. fieldkj

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    I wanted to start a thread that gave people who wanted to start their own pharmacy, looking into buying an independent pharmacy, or are just considering the option. I know that most pharmacy school dont even let the idea slip out that you could possible own your own pharmacy. I graduate pharmacy school a little over a year ago and have been able to open my own pharmacy. It opened 5 months ago and I am enjoying it very much. Of course Im not making as much as my friends or wife who are working for the chains but in time I will and I dont mind going in to work daily. Its nice to be your own boss and know that you have a vested interest in what goes on in your business and patients lives. Please leave comments, suggestions, questions, opinions, ideas, etc. I would love to hear from more pharmacists with similiar ambitions as myself
     
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  3. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE!
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    I thought about it when I first started school, however my dad owns a few businesses and he convinced me not to. In any business there is risk, and for independent pharmacies there are a TON of factors working against them ($4 Rxs for one). Theres definitely the potential to make really good money but theres a ton of work and you can't really "leave the work at work".
     
  4. inquirer89

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    I am giving serious thought into starting an independent later into my career and future. I think it would be tough to compete against the chains, so an independent pharmacy would have to offer something special to the customers.

    I like how Pharmaca in the west coast specializes in osteopathic wellness and natural remedies. They are thriving in a market where many independents are dying out. If I start my own, I would cash in to the green and natural lifestyle.
     
  5. fieldkj

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    i can understand the "not able to leave work at work" but i believe it can be done. I also see it as an investment, i dont rent but own my building and in 20 years I will have a large amount of equity in my building that I will be able to sell if I want to. Also I am still able to put money into a 401k, IRA, etc just like if I were working at a chain or hospital. I know it is a daunting endevour but I see the difference in my life and work and that of those who are at chains, I enjoy getting up and I dont dread it like so many of my friends. Also I will soon be able to bring on my wife and have her work with me. Yes there are negative but the positives greatly out weight them.
     
  6. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    Good luck is all I have to say to anyone thinking of buying or starting thier own pharmacy. The only ones I know that are really sucessfull are the independants that have specialized into areas such as compounding. I think it is near impossible to be profitable as an independant any more. Margins are to small, insurance reimbursement is shrinking everyday. Wait untill AMP hits and is fully implemented.
     
  7. Avrelian

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    Makes me wonder why dentists are generally succesfull in private practice? No big dental chains? Perhaps we should start one then, eh?
     
  8. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    Thats a good point and exactly why there are still independant Dentists. Insurance is another reason.
     
  9. Knipps

    Knipps In a 6 year program

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    Drive-thru root canal :laugh:
     
  10. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    I am sure some young Dentist is out there dreaming up ways to drum up business and is already planning this!!!!!
     
  11. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    I think we can compete against the chain. WE just need to offers that they do not(ie real counseling, delivery, MTM)
     
  12. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE!
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    real counseling eh? so what am I doing?
     
  13. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    +1
     
  14. ajh88

    ajh88 New Member

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    I attended the ACA mid-year conference a few weeks ago and the organization is mainly comprised of pharmacist-owners. It was encouraging to see that people are actually still opening their own shops, but they definitely recognize the importance of innovation (in an attempt to stay a step or two ahead of the chains). Compounding and DME are a large part of their businesses, along with MTM services.

    I would *love* to have my own pharmacy, but will probably try to do the Jr. partnership route (if possible).
     
  15. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    Define real counseling please.....
     
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  17. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    Working as a Walgreen's intern, the opportunity to really talk to patients about their medications is at best difficult. Sure, I'll tell the patient the brand name, generic name, strength, and sig and send them on their way. There is no patient privacy especially when I'm yelling over the telephone for the drive-thru. I certainly see a great opportunity to capture the patient market who want to have their medication needs met(and i don't mean just the dispensing function)
     
  18. fieldkj

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    Does anyone's school offer the option or possibility of running your own pharmacy during the ciriculumn? I havent heard of any schools doing this, all I ever got shoved down my throat was residency and working in a hospital. To sum up what I was told at my school, it was best said from my preceptor during the hardest month of the entire rotation cycle (at the hospital 13 hours a day) when I told her about my future ambitions and goals; AND I AM QUOTING WHAT SHE SAID INFRONT OF OTHER STUDENTS AND FRIENDS, "You are wasting your life."
    Needless to say we didnt get along after that
     
  19. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info

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    And some of us think that sitting in the basement of a hospital for 13 hours a day is wasting your life, too. To each his own. Don't let some cocky a-hole derail your life plans.
     
  20. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    When I tell people about my plans, everyone wonders how I'm going to compete with the chains. Some people think I'm crazy because of the high salaries. Others just don't see the justification in time and effort that one needs to put in.

    Although my university doesn't tailor itself specifically to entrepreneurism, I have tailored the program to suit my needs(involvement in NCPA, attending a Pharmacy Ownership Workshop, taking compounding electives, and reading about this as much as I can). Unfortunately, the interest isn't there and a lot of my classmates do not want to take the risk.
     
  21. twester

    twester Senior Member

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    My parents live in a small town (town pop. 3500/county pop. 12000) that keeps two independent pharmacies profitable, even with Walmart being 30 miles down the road. My family is fiercely loyal to their pharmacist. It's encouraging to see.

    I think an independent pharmacy can work given the right community and the right population dynamics. I'm considering it as a possibility.
     
  22. Doctor M

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    Dont let other peoples weaknesses bring you down. Follow what you want to do. Screw them!!! Open up that shop and if you fail, try again.

    Dr. M
     
  23. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    I think many of my friends and classmates fail to recognize the opportunity that lies right in front of them. But I respect their viewpoints as well. only about 4% of people have what it takes to be entrepreneurs. the other 96% work for them.
     
  24. Doctor M

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    :thumbup:
     
  25. YapYap6

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    Well, there are a lot of small post-mining communities out there with decent populations and no large chains in the area. I go fishing a lot in areas that are an hours drive or more from the nearest city and I find that they're lacking in medical services and pharmacies. These would be good places to open a small pharmacy I'd imagine.

    Niche markets are good too. There are two small independents in Chicago's Chinatown. There's a Walgreens right down the street too that caters to them; however, I find most of the immigrants would prefer going to the independents than the large chain. It's more community oriented.
     
  26. fieldkj

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    The oppurtunities are there to be successful and enjoy the success of your own business. However, I do know that not everyone is the entrepeneur type and that most people would rather just work for someone else and not themselves. I just urge people not to be afraid, I take comfort know that if I fail (and i sure dont think that I am) that i can still get a job making quite a bit of money. This comfort takes a lot of the fear out of owning my own pharmacies.
     
  27. SexyPlexi

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    I just got back from smalltown Alabama where my husband's family lives and I noticed considerably more independent pharmacies than chain ones. It was encouraging that they are still alive somewhere. Small towns :)
     
  28. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    Of course investing in your own business isn't risk free, but I agree. If it doesn't work out, I can always works for Walgreens and make a decent living on a 110K.
     
  29. fieldkj

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  30. Idesiretosling

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  31. Bribriguy16

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    I would think that a lot of the owners of independent pharmacies in small towns are getting older. I am pretty interested in coming in for a while under him and learning how to run the pharmacy and then taking over when he retires. I am one of those that loves the small town lifestyle. I just gotta find the right town and independent pharmacy to do this.

    Fieldkj, did you take any business classes at all, like go for an MBA? What would you recommend doing in pharmacy school to prepare for a career like this?
     
  32. fieldkj

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    I did not take any business classes but I wish that I had. I believe that getting a MBA or just taking classes to understand taxes and other such topics would be of great benefit. You are correct that there are many independents that are looking for a succesion plan. 99.99% of independents would like to see their business to continue another generation. Using sweat equity and a junior partnership is most likely the easiest and most cost effective way to start the process of ownership. Also by doing it this way you will have the benefit of learning from the previous owner.
     
  33. firefighter9015

    firefighter9015 It's not THAT kind of study hour...

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    I do want to see independents prosper and continue to live on. I believe that there are people out there that can make this happen. Am I one of them, no.

    For all those people who are getting negative comments about opening there own pharmacy, I am getting negative comments about not owning my own pharmacy. No matter what you do, you are not going to make everyone else happy, so just make yourself happy.
     
  34. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    you just have to find that niche!! I think that independent pharmacies have a great chance- just don't try to be cvs or walgreens. Like some of you have said they offer $4 prescriptions, drive thrus, open 24 hours- so how are you going to compete- simple offer something that they dont!
     
  35. OleMiss2012

    OleMiss2012 Go Rebels!

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    There is an independent compounding pharmacy in S. Texas (Moore's Pharmacy) that offers seminars about once a month to their customers and the general public on different health issues such as diabetes, CHF, etc...Each month is a different topic. (I know they have a website if you want to google it). I've never attended one since I don't live in S. Texas, but I really like that idea. If I'm ever part of an independent pharmacy, I'm going to suggest this.
     
  36. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    If it's free and will drum up business, it a great idea
     
  37. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    this is a great thread...lets keep it going!!
     
  38. surfarm

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    fieldkj
    I definitely plan on buying an existing pharmacy or opening my own in the future, once the loans have been whittled away at. I wanted to ask you if you would entertain us on whats the cut in your pay as an owner of a new pharmacy as opposed to working for someone else, or what's the amount of prescriptions you need to fill daily to run the pharmacy and profit from it. I know most pharmacies need to fill a certain amount of prescriptions daily to break even, are you able to do that as a new pharmacy? The idea of buying established existing pharmacies helps eliminate this concern.
     
  39. fieldkj

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    k
     
    #37 fieldkj, Jun 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008
  40. fieldkj

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    Well this is a very complicated question and has many different details. I grew up in an entrepeneur focused family so I had a little head start in the understanding of the "pharmacy" business. However, i do wish that I had taken some more advanced business classes during my schooling but learning as I go has some advantages also.
    It all depends on how you decide on starting your first business, fi you do a junior partnership and invest sweat equity into the business then i would say that you should expect a 50-60% cut in salary. However, you have to understand that as you are working for less salary your balance sheet is still increasing the same as if would if you were making a full salary. Sometimes its hard for people to understand how someone who is making 25-50k a year can be "worth" more than the individual who is make 125k a year.
    It is very hard for individuals to start their own pharmacy from the ground up today, sometimes the upfront cost are just too much to be absorbed. I would recommened the junior partnership route and I know of many pharmacist who are looking for the avenue because they would much rather sell to an ambitious young pharmacist rather than one of the chains. If you start from the ground up you can probably not expect a salary for atleast a year.
    No matter what you do i would also highly recommend owning rather than leasing your property. It may be a bigger burden in the beginning but in the end it will be a highly valuable asset to you.
    The number of Rx's that you need to do daily is a representation of your overhead costs. Here at my new locations since I have only about 600sq ft, i need to do about 20/day to break even (utilities, mortgage, inventory). This does not include my compensation. My compensation will be determined at the end of the fiscal year. A lot depends on how you view your balance sheet. I may not have the salary that most of my friends are making at the chains but I am gaining assests each day that I am working while they are not. In 15-20 years my personal net value will be approx double my friends even though they may have been making 50k more than me each year ( this is at my current state) I expect growth and developement which should enable to draw a "normal" pharmacist salary in new few years. The Pzfizer Digest is a good publication to read along with some of the other NCPA material however I can not emphasize the value that existing business owners can be to you if you are planning opening a new pharmacy or any type of business.
     
  41. Bribriguy16

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    Do you know what the process might be in finding a pharmacy that is looking to sell to a younger pharmacist? I mean, would you just basically try to find an independent pharmacy and call up the owner?
     
  42. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    How difficult is it to get loans to help support starting a business especially after taking so many loans for pharmacy school??
    How much should you expect to take in loans to start a pharmacy business (generally)??
     
  43. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    That is the beauty of the junior partnership. The owner essentially loans you the down payment money by building up equity in the business over the course of 3-5 years in exchange for your labor at his pharmacy. At the end of 5 years, if you have 25%-50% equity in the business a bank should finance the balance. Do a search for junior partnership on google. you'll find it there
     
  44. blueclassring

    blueclassring Senior Member

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    i would say it would be about 300-400k if you wanted to do a traditional pharmacy from scratch.
     
  45. fieldkj

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    I agree with blueclassring about the junior partnership. It is by far the most efficient and cost effective way to begin the process of owning your own business today.
     
  46. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    ok...but what if you want to start from scratch and you don't want to take somebodies business over??
     
  47. fieldkj

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    Blueclassring is correct - approx 300-400K but whatever your budget is add atleast 50k because you will need it. Things are always more expensive than you think or dont go as you planned.
     
  48. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    are these initial start up costs (the money you will shell out day 1)- or costs that you will run into throughout your start up??

    is this how much it cost you to start up your business fieldkj ??

    I notice that you said $300-$400k for a TRADITIONAL pharmacy -but what if you don't want to be a cvs or walgreen!!??
     
  49. Doctor M

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    Id figure if you save 6 months of living expenses and expect no income for 6 months you should be ok. A starting inventory of $150000 and $50000 of start up costs ~ $200k + 6 months of fixed bills (rent, utilities, maintenance fees, payroll etc) = $260k.

    I have found that a lot of my patients would love for me to open a store right down the street from my present employer. We do around 2200-2300 a week. I wonder how many of those rx's i could take with me! Of course i wont disclose the employer or who I am, but we will see!
     
  50. collegegirl247

    collegegirl247 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    good for you- if you have it in you- why should you work to make somebody else tons of money!!?? instead- work to make yourself a lot of money
     
  51. Doctor M

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    I just dont see the point of working like a slave for any corporation. I give and give to the company but see minimal return. Understand that I do all I can for the customer, no matter what. But these corporations just want more and more...Greed will lead to poverty. I would rather just do it myself. Many of you may argue that you would rather work for a corporation a certain amount of hours and just go home at the end of the day. Me, I dont find answering drive thrus and the phone and consulatations and verifying and this and that for 12 hours with minimal help as fun or remotely call it a job. I dont care how much they pay me, it is not fun and on minimal budget. All it takes is 2 phone calls and a drive up and an ins problem to back me up. I service the customer 110% and treat them as patients. I do it for the patient, not the corporation...As far as Im concerned the corporation could give a rats a** about me, so the feeling is mutual:)
     
  52. Doctor M

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    As I see it, here is a breakdown:
    $50,000 will be your own money and it will be used as follows:
    Lease a space, renovate a space according to state law specifications,buy shelving, permits, fees, attorney fees, application fees etc.

    $25000-$40000, depending on your living expenses, should be for 6 months as a standard. Some businesses may start making money sooner, some will take longer to build. I would recommend having a nice cushion just in case.

    $150000-This will probably be your initial inventory. Many of you may be able to take a small business loan for this and pay it in 7-10 years. The small business administration can help with this. Mind you, this initial inventory is for a start up tradional pharmacy. So far, we are up to around 250k.

    When I was an intern (almost a decade ago!) my pharmacist said he was gonna open up a pharmacy. He did so 4 years ago and started it with 190k. 150k was his initial inventory and 40k was put in by his partner and himself (20k each). He is doing ok, hes open 9-6 M-f, 9-2 sat. He works 37 hours per week and makes $122k + 24k 401 K = 142k compensation. He has a partner that is part time so you do the math! 700 rx per week, 37 hours per week, 142k compensation?? No corp BS... He is a different man today, much more relaxed:)
     

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