Big Chains VS Independent Pharmacies: Why People Should Reconsider Their Prescriptions Routine

Over the past half-century, the pharmacy industry has changed dramatically. According to the National Pharmacy Market Summary statistics, there are now more than 88,181 pharmacies operating in the United States, of which more than 48,196 owned by large, sustainable pharmacy chains. Subsequently, the remaining number are run by independent owners.

The number of independent pharmacies continues to shrink as larger pharmaceutical companies absorb smaller companies year after year.

Despite the pressure from chain giants, independent pharmacies continue to compete with monopolists and remain profitable. No doubt careful attention to each visitor, the willingness to give the most detailed advice, and the constant access to needed medicines their undeniable advantages in the fight against larger competitors.

Here are a few benefits of independent pharmacies and reasons why people should reconsider their prescriptions routine.

Personalized medications

The main advantage of independent pharmacies is individually selected composition. The first contraindication indicated in the insert of any factory preparation is the individual intolerance of components. Unlike factory preparations, they do not have many side effects, do not cause addiction and do not contain preservatives.

Pricing and value

What drug will cost less? The independent pharmacy produced or its factory counterpart? For starters, the cost of production at the plant is lower, because drugs made by hand at a pharmacy are not comparable with industrial ones in terms of volume. In some cases, medicine manufactured in a pharmacy may be more expensive than a factory. The high cost of such drugs is the high cost of manual pharmacy production.

Yet, in the long run, thermal preparations are often cheaper than ready-made ones, because the margin at pharmacies is lower than that of large industries. Ultimately, prescription drugs manufactured in a pharmacy are cheaper than factory ones at cost. The cost of pharmacy services is very low due to less expensive raw materials and packaging.


Time is the most valuable commodity.  People generally lack time and usually are not willing to wait.  Shorter wait times is one of the most appealing benefits of independent pharmacies in rivalry with big chains. Moreover, due to consistent access and online refill services, patients receive access to needed prescriptions with greater regularity and do not face out-of-stock drug problems.

Patient-centered service

Meanwhile, in today’s competitive reality, customer service plays a crucial role in an organization’s success. According to Access Development Statistics Report in 2016: “47% of customers would go to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service”.

The modern pharmacy client asks about the purpose and shortcomings of the proposed drugs and is often hesitant to make decisions, requiring a higher standard of service at the counter.  Therefore, the main competitive advantage of independent pharmacies is the ability of their employees to offer advice and give personal attention.

Independent workers often know their clients individually and are aware of their prescriptions and personal situation. According to The Consumer Reports article, “establishing a good relationship with a pharmacist they trust “is the primary reason to choose one drugstore over another.

Above all, the ability to build trustworthy relationships with customers has always distinguished independent pharmacies from all the rest. The attraction of new customers and retention of existing customers are vital prerequisites for every prosperous private pharmacy.