Apr 17, 2013
127
58
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Pharmacist
During my break, I decided to walk around the chain pharmacy store, I'm working in. IT'S HUGE! The only glaringly obvious question, is why? Between selling popcorn machines, tennis rackets and patio furniture, it struck me more as some kind of modern day dime store with a drug department.

The chains achieved their goal. The few that exist, control the pharmacy market. They made big, shiny stores. They offered a consistent shopping experience. They have a huge variety of nonsense merchandise. Accepted ridiculously low reimbursement rates and business prohibitive price margins that combined to sound the death knell for independents. They won.

Now, fix the pharmacy market you fought so hard to win. Cut store size in half and double the store count.
The profit margin on those curling irons may be higher initially, but they don't sell. The one that does sell at full price, is a piss poor return on investment. The staffing and management of all that front end filler, brought in to capture the customers from independents, succeeded. Now, like my appendix, is no longer need. The independents will never come back. Anti-monopoly laws will prevent further consolidation. The machinery is in place to provide pharmacy, at the most profitable rate of return. There are enough pharmacists to fill the stores. Grow stores into medical service outlets for customers. Get away from blow up swimming pools and furniture pads. The captured market of employees that work in these stores, don't shop in these stores, even with discounts. That says something.

Long ago lost is the camaraderie I enjoyed, when I started as a pharmacist. The fun and friendship I experienced for the first decade of my career, was priceless. If the number of chain stores doesn't increase very quickly, the surplus of pharmacists will cause salaries to plummet. Was this part of the plan, crafted within the corner offices of chain pharmacy years ago? I certainly don't know. Hopes and arguments over future pharmacy related positions, will do little for the overwhelming majority of pharmacists. Push and pray the chains open more stores. Or prepare to be at bloodsport, more so than it is today, with your fellow pharmacist.
 

MountainPharmD

custodiunt illud simplex
10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2004
4,567
323
Status
Pharmacist
Why pray they open more stores? How about bucking the trend and open your own pharmacy? You can practice pharmacy and provide customer service in a way the chains can't.
 
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Sparda29

En Taro Adun
10+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
9,048
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Pharmacist
Open your own pharmacy. Find a niche and go with it. Find a location with an ethnic enclave (urban area) that doesn't really have an independent pharmacy. Open up a pharmacy and hire a pharmacist who speaks the language of the ethnicity there (Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Slavic, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Creole, etc). Pay the pharmacist like $35-40/hr off the books. Once you have 100-150 scripts/day, you're making a profit.

Guy that I work for in Queens does exactly this. He hired a bunch of Arabic speaking teenagers to be delivery boys, stockboys, cashiers, techs, and translators. Hired like 4-5 part-time/per-diem pharmacists, no benefits. Fills on average 500 scripts/weekdays and averages 400 scripts on the weekend. Guy is a millionaire, has 3 awesome houses in Queens and Long Island, goes on vacation like every month. Drives a Mercedes SLS AMG on Monday, Lexus ISF on Tuesday, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S on Wednesday, BMW M6 on Thursday, Audi RS5 on Friday, Corvette ZR1 on Saturday, and a Nissan GT-R on Sunday.
 
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swatchgirl

Exercise your brains out, so you don't get sick.
10+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2007
304
43
Florida
Status
Pharmacist
Open your own pharmacy. Find a niche and go with it. Find a location with an ethnic enclave (urban area) that doesn't really have an independent pharmacy. Open up a pharmacy and hire a pharmacist who speaks the language of the ethnicity there (Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Slavic, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, Creole, etc). Pay the pharmacist like $35-40/hr off the books. Once you have 100-150 scripts/day, you're making a profit.

Guy that I work for in Queens does exactly this. He hired a bunch of Arabic speaking teenagers to be delivery boys, stockboys, cashiers, techs, and translators. Hired like 4-5 part-time/per-diem pharmacists, no benefits. Fills on average 500 scripts/weekdays and averages 400 scripts on the weekend. Guy is a millionaire, has 3 awesome houses in Queens and Long Island, goes on vacation like every month. Drives a Mercedes SLS AMG on Monday, Lexus ISF on Tuesday, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S on Wednesday, BMW M6 on Thursday, Audi RS5 on Friday, Corvette ZR1 on Saturday, and a Nissan GT-R on Sunday.
You'd think people would know better than to take Han Solo's words seriously... Greedo shot first, right? Of course he did...