Your medications are personal – and having your prescriptions filled from a warehouse across the country by strangers is the opposite of personal. Choosing the right pharmacy for you and your family is as important as choosing the right doctor, and you should trust your health to someone who gets to know you.
National chain pharmacies often seem like the most convenient option for pharmacy care, and insurance companies may indicate they are the best or only choice for patients to use. In fact, they are owned and operated by billion-dollar conglomerates that prioritize their shareholders over their patients.¹
Patients deserve to be their pharmacy's priority. Be the priority by choosing your local, community pharmacy. Looking for more reasons? Here’s five more.
Accurate and Reliable Care
When it comes to your health, it’s a priority that your medications are handled with accuracy and the utmost care. As chain pharmacies are often understaffed with overworked employees and have an increased number of medications to fill, more mistakes like miscalculations and misfiled information are likely to be made.
Mail-order pharmacy also comes with their fair share of risks with late refills, outdated information, and destroyed medications during shipment. On the other hand, independent community pharmacies with smaller, experienced staff are much less likely to make these mistakes, so you can order and pick up your medications with confidence.
According to a 2018 Consumer Reports Survey, “Independent pharmacies earned high scores on such measures as courtesy, helpfulness, and speed of checkout and filling prescriptions, as well as pharmacists’ knowledge and accuracy. At the bottom, large national chain pharmacies.”²
A common misconception is that chain pharmacies offer the lowest available prices on medications. False! A 2018 Consumer Reports Survey reported that 21% of consumers reported that independent pharmacies recommended lower-cost medication solutions while only 9% reported chain pharmacies offered lower-priced options. In that same survey, consumers reported that chain pharmacies tended to have higher out-of-pocket prices.³
Community pharmacies know the struggles that their patients face, such as lack of insurance options and fixed income. In order to stay open, independent pharmacies strive to offer options that they know patients need.
Often patients report that convenience is their top reason for choosing a chain pharmacy over an independent, but did you know independent community pharmacies can take convenience to the next level? Independent pharmacies have the flexibility to serve patients at the individual level by customizing each patient’s service to what they need.
Need a last-minute emergency refill? Community pharmacies are more likely to go out of their way to fill prescriptions faster.
Don't have time to wait in pharmacy lines? Only 3% of independent pharmacy patients reported long wait times compared to 18% of chain pharmacy patients reporting the same. ³
Do you prefer the convenience of your medication being delivered to your home? This isn’t a service unique to chain pharmacies. Many independent pharmacies offer more convenient delivery options like home delivery, mail order, curbside, and drive-through—and they’ve been doing it for years.
Enhanced Services and Patient Education
Chain and mail-order pharmacies are often only able to provide you with your prescribed medications. Local, independent pharmacies take service to the next level by offering services to address your health as a whole. You can count on your local independent pharmacy to provide personalized supplement recommendations, access to a pharmacist who can answer any questions and address any issues you may have, and regular follow-ups to ensure you get the quality care that you deserve.
Need medication adherence help? Non-adherence to a medication regimen has been found to have significant financial costs⁵ and beyond that, it can have a significant impact on treatment failures that are costly in other ways.⁶ While chain pharmacies are providing medication packaging as an online-only service or phasing the service out entirely, independent pharmacies often step up to offer the medication packaging services their patients need.
Need customized medication? Most independent pharmacies offer some compounding services to tailor your medications to your specific needs or have a connection to another community pharmacy that can assist. Whether you have allergies to certain ingredients in your medication or need a different dosage form or strength, you can often count on an independent pharmacy to help.³
Need extra one-on-one guidance? Community pharmacists prioritize patient education by working one-on-one with their patients to explain the “why” and “how” of their prescriptions, simplifying medication regimens, checking for drug interactions, creating wellness plans to ensure each patient reaches their health goals, and more. Independent pharmacists also work closely with patients’ providers to have the most up-to-date information on both sides so that patients receive the best possible care.
If you think you would benefit from a medication review, ask our local pharmacy team about scheduling a consultation today.
Support Your Community
Choosing your local independent pharmacy means directly supporting your local community. While making quality care accessible to their communities, independent pharmacies also help their communities thrive economically by generating jobs and tax revenue and playing a major role through civic contributions.⁴
Not only do independent pharmacies support their local communities, the money you spend at the pharmacy stays in the community.
From accurate and reliable care to enhanced services and affordability, choosing an community pharmacy is the obvious choice. As an independent pharmacy patient, you can rest assured know you are the priority — not a script number without a name. Choose local by supporting an independent pharmacy.
4. 2021 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health
5. Cutler, Rachelle Louise et al. “Economic impact of medication non-adherence by disease groups: a systematic review.” BMJ open vol. 8,1 e016982. 21 Jan. 2018, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016982
6. Kim, Jennifer, et al. “Medication Adherence: The Elephant in the Room.” US Pharmacist, vol. 1 (2018), 19 Jan. 2018, pp. 30–34., www.uspharmacist.com/