Before the era of corporatized pharmacies that have locations from coast to coast, most pharmacies resembled what we now think of as “rural pharmacies”, or pharmacies that specialize in serving a limited customer base that exists in close proximity to the pharmacy location. Many of these pharmacies were driven out of business by big chain pharmacies, and the small pharmacies that survived were forced to carve out a unique niche in the industry.
Rural pharmacies still exist, and it isn’t just because they serve a rural area that uses their services out of convenience. As rural pharmacies strived to gain a foothold in a pharmacy industry that was increasingly dominated by big businesses, their role in affecting patient health outcomes changed. Instead of mimicking the business model of large pharmacies, they focused on offering benefits that many big name pharmacies do not.
No Vendor Lock for Meds
Big pharmacies often form agreements with a medication supplier to use the supplier’s brand of medicine. Although the pharmacies aren’t “locked in” to use a supplier’s brand indefinitely, patients are often forced to use the brand — a situation that, in business circles, is commonly referred to as “vendor lock”. Many rural pharmacies can prevent this situation, as they have the autonomy to order name brand and generic medications from different medication suppliers.
Compounded medications consist of medicines that are “compounded” to feature a special formulation for the patient’s needs. Generally speaking, big pharmacies prefer to avoid selling compounded prescriptions due to the time it takes to create them, and the fact that they are sold to a limited demographic. A rural pharmacist, however, is known to support this demographic. In addition to hospital pharmacies, they are one of the few types of pharmacies that do.
Durable Medical Equipment
Big pharmacies can supply durable medical equipment, but you may have to wait awhile to receive it, as the equipment is rarely available on store shelves. An independent community pharmacy, on the other hand, often sells certain types of durable medical equipment in store. Examples of durable medical equipment that a rural pharmacist may be able to supply you with immediately include: wheelchairs, walkers, joint braces, and crutches, just to name a few.
Medication Delivery Services
Many big pharmacies offer the convenience of a drive through window, where patients can pick up medications without entering the store, but many rural pharmacies go a step further and deliver medications to your doorstep. This service is particularly helpful for improving health outcomes in elderly patients, who lack a way to pick up their medication in a timely manner. The service is also great for anyone who wants to make the dispensing process more hassle-free.
Unique Medication Packaging
In addition to providing unique, compounded medications, an independent community pharmacy can also provide medication adherence packaging, such as Medication Pill Cards. Studies show that special drug packaging can improve medication adherence. Consequently, the product plays an essential role in promoting good health outcomes across all populations.
How We Help Rural Pharmacies
For over 134 years, Drug Package has served rural pharmacies by supplying unique medication packaging and a variety of other products that pharmacies use daily. We recognize the unique role that independent community pharmacies play in promoting good health outcomes, which helps to reduce healthcare costs. This is why we continue to work with the rural pharmacist. Our goal is to provide products and services that help reduce annual healthcare costs for all.
For more information about our products and services, call us today at (800) 325-6137 to schedule a consultation or email us with any questions you may have. We look forward to serving you!