JakeSill

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Nov 6, 2013
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How hard is it to open your own pharmacy? How is the competition? Will you make as much money working for Wags or CVS or less? What about the insurance reimbursement? Chains get better reimbursement? Are medication cheaper at CVS and Walgreens thats why not many people go to independents? Why don't people go to independents?
 

Wickett

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Mar 28, 2012
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How hard is it to open your own pharmacy? How is the competition? Will you make as much money working for Wags or CVS or less? What about the insurance reimbursement? Chains get better reimbursement? Are medication cheaper at CVS and Walgreens thats why not many people go to independents? Why don't people go to independents?
You can't compete with the chains anymore with the traditional corner store model. You have to do something unique that the chains don't normally do to be successful, in general.
 
Jul 24, 2013
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i find that the people who prefer independents are usually minorities who think they will have a language barrier at the big chains. the most successful independents that i've come across are in dominican, russian, or chinese neighborhoods.
 
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Rukn

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Feb 24, 2012
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i find that the people who prefer independents are usually minorities who think they will have a language barrier at the big chains. the most successful independents that i've come across are in dominican, russian, or chinese neighborhoods.
Independents will need to have a niche where they can succeed
 
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Momus

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Apr 2, 2008
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Just open one and name it "Addicted Inc". I'm sure you will make enough profit and more.
 
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mentos

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Nov 22, 2009
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It's like trying to open a mom-and-pop discount store to compete with Wal-Mart.
 

ExpressMaiL

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Oct 26, 2007
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How hard is it to open your own pharmacy? How is the competition? Will you make as much money working for Wags or CVS or less? What about the insurance reimbursement? Chains get better reimbursement? Are medication cheaper at CVS and Walgreens thats why not many people go to independents? Why don't people go to independents?
Just go open one yourself and let us know.
 
Jul 24, 2013
275
101
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Pharmacist
Can you please elaborate?
for example, the pharmacy near my house sells beauty products, cosmetics, candles, etc. and advertises all that stuff on their flyer. and on the bottom of the flier, it says something along the lines of "oh btw, bring in your RX's, we do prescriptions too"
 
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rph3664

7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2010
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My BFF recently went to work for an independent (3 small stores in a big city) and their niche is compounding, and specifically bioidentical hormones.

Last month, I went on vacation in northern Wisconsin and stopped in at a small town independent; they had a contract with some dairy farms and other entities for veterinary compounding, and the pharmacy shared space with a store that sold collectible glass and local sports team t-shirts. When I told the owner, who looked to be about 70 years old, that I was a pharmacist (albeit not one that's licensed in Wisconsin) he opened the Dutch door and invited me to step back behind the counter and check it out. I'm pretty sure he was serious, and I did decline the invitation.
 

ldiot

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Oct 7, 2015
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Most have a niche market like compounding or medical supplies like nebulizers, oxygen, etc or have a high population of customers paying cash.

The advantage is no overhead, the disadvantage is the administrative work and low reimbursements. I've talked to some that claim to make good money just filling scripts like any other pharmacy, but it seems like most are supplementing their revenue with DME to stay afloat. Some are even catering to the homeopathic people and advertising whatever new miracle herb is hot on the market. And I guess there are the ones who fill any and every narcotic but the one like that around here was shut down.

Overall it seems like the best case scenario is that you make as much as a retail pharmacist which in my opinion doesn't make the risk or work worth it. Obviously there are people who make millions too or get bought out by a chain for a nice check.

As much as I'd love to run a business it just doesn't seem worth it to me. I'd work for one though.
 
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6GodPharm

2+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
478
405
Not worth it anymore. CVS and Wags are killing the competition and now mail order is starting to come into the game. My plan is to pay my loans off asap and open up a buisness on the side other that Pharmacy while I work part time as a Pharmacist.
 

pezdispenser

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2006
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In my experience, most independents are involved in fraud.
I think so too. It used to be narcotics but over the past few years, lots of independents were involved in making compounds with unnecessary ingredients to jack up the reimbursement. Some even used sales reps to go and solicit compound prescriptions from doctors and paid them illegal kickbacks. Well now the government is cracking down on them hard through Tricare and Medicare and suing the crap out of these pharmacies.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-targets-pharmacies-over-soaring-claims-to-military-health-program-1447032619
 

MountainPharmD

custodiunt illud simplex
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2004
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How hard is it to open your own pharmacy? How is the competition? Will you make as much money working for Wags or CVS or less? What about the insurance reimbursement? Chains get better reimbursement? Are medication cheaper at CVS and Walgreens thats why not many people go to independents? Why don't people go to independents?
It's not hard to open your own pharmacy...all it takes is money! A better question is how hard is it to run a profitable independent pharmacy? The number one factor effecting profitability are PBM's and their abusive anti-competitive practices. Competing with the chains is easy. The only niche you need to compete is to provide a basic level of good customer service.
 
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rph3664

7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2010
2,465
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Not worth it anymore. CVS and Wags are killing the competition and now mail order is starting to come into the game. My plan is to pay my loans off asap and open up a buisness on the side other that Pharmacy while I work part time as a Pharmacist.
People have b-ed and moaned about "Mail order is killing retail" since the early 1990s, if not before.
 

imcallingcorp

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5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2013
158
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It's not hard to open your own pharmacy...all it takes is money! A better question is how hard is it to run a profitable independent pharmacy? The number one factor effecting profitability are PBM's and their abusive anti-competitive practices. Competing with the chains is easy. The only niche you need to compete is to provide a basic level of good customer service.
there it is . lets sum it up for all those who are clueless. and no offense to them prior to last fall i was clueless about the economics of pharmacy for a decade. profits in pharmacy = how much pbms reimburse you. period. you can mtm untill you are blue in the face . you will still go broke as aetne part d underpays all your generic claims by a lot. the pbms are really the biggest crooks they just happen to have you sign that contract you have no choice but to sign. and for all our fellow pharmacists from supermarkets to walmart to riteaid whatever, even with your "buying power" and better contracts your stores cant survive if the trends continue. cvs / hellmark for obv reasons are ok. but any one else dealing mainly in filling regular rxs better wake up. the rite aid walgreens deal happened because they need more leverage to stay alive. most on this site havent felt the nausea of processing a script just to see the insurance clawback most of it. or see dir fees. or see a claim get underpaid by hundreds of dollars. i wish i made it all up
 

MountainPharmD

custodiunt illud simplex
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2004
4,570
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there it is . lets sum it up for all those who are clueless. and no offense to them prior to last fall i was clueless about the economics of pharmacy for a decade. profits in pharmacy = how much pbms reimburse you. period. you can mtm untill you are blue in the face . you will still go broke as aetne part d underpays all your generic claims by a lot. the pbms are really the biggest crooks they just happen to have you sign that contract you have no choice but to sign. and for all our fellow pharmacists from supermarkets to walmart to riteaid whatever, even with your "buying power" and better contracts your stores cant survive if the trends continue. cvs / hellmark for obv reasons are ok. but any one else dealing mainly in filling regular rxs better wake up. the rite aid walgreens deal happened because they need more leverage to stay alive. most on this site havent felt the nausea of processing a script just to see the insurance clawback most of it. or see dir fees. or see a claim get underpaid by hundreds of dollars. i wish i made it all up
It's getting so bad that soon there will be plans if you have just the wrong mix of patients and medications will cause a pharmacy to actually pay the PBM to fill prescriptions. This is entirely possible with all the BS fees and crap the PBM's are charging on the back end coupled with below actual acquisition cost reimbursement on the front end. Hell we may be there this year with Aetna Medicare Part D.
 
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imcallingcorp

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5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2013
158
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It's getting so bad that soon there will be plans if you have just the wrong mix of patients and medications will cause a pharmacy to actually pay the PBM to fill prescriptions. This is entirely possible with all the BS fees and crap the PBM's are charging on the back end coupled with below actual acquisition cost reimbursement on the front end. Hell we may be there this year with Aetna Medicare Part D.
luckily i only have a handful aetna part d and prob break even on them if they take some brands. but its sad that this is what its come to. and humana next year will take 5 dollars from "eligible" claims and you have to hope to "earn " it back lol. and if you perform well you even get $1 on top of the $5 they originally steal lol. i just cant decide whats gonna happen. at this rate they will kill the industry and people will suffer and maybe then something will give? i dont know but we will find out soon enough
 

Chriskahn

5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2013
258
166
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Pharmacist
I was thinking about opening my own pharmacy in the future. Worked at an independent compounding pharmacy once and thought I could own one someday. The area that I want to live in is an island that only has one independent pharmacy/gift shop. The island has a lot of farm land so maybe opening a compound pharmacy that does vet compounds would be ideal.
 

rxdawg21

5+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2013
371
226
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Pharmacist
luckily i only have a handful aetna part d and prob break even on them if they take some brands. but its sad that this is what its come to. and humana next year will take 5 dollars from "eligible" claims and you have to hope to "earn " it back lol. and if you perform well you even get $1 on top of the $5 they originally steal lol. i just cant decide whats gonna happen. at this rate they will kill the industry and people will suffer and maybe then something will give? i dont know but we will find out soon enough
This is sad, should be criminal and most definitely not a free market. The mergers of the big health insurers will do nothing but line their pockets even more. I'm a proponent of small govt, but it's high time the govt stepped in and prevented this madness.
 

farmadiazepine

7+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2011
1,045
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DIR fees.. F*cking PBMs, I don't know how that's even legal. They make up a new fee whenever they want?
 

MountainPharmD

custodiunt illud simplex
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2004
4,570
326
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DIR fees.. F*cking PBMs, I don't know how that's even legal. They make up a new fee whenever they want?
PBMs are completely unregulated. They are scamming the system out of billions of dollars a year. It's been a stunning rise from their origin as electronic claims processors to the billion dollar a year profit machines they are today. In the end they are still nothing more than claim processors.
 
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