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Helping Independent Pharmacies Navigate the Changing Healthcare Landscape


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October is American Pharmacists Month, which provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate how pharmacists support patients’ health and wellness in communities across the country.

Pharmacists are on the frontlines of patient care — providing information, valuable face-to-face counseling as well as dispensing the medicines that patients rely on every day to manage their health and well-being. For independent pharmacists, this role is even more significant, with many serving as visible community leaders.

Distributors recognize the essential role independent pharmacists play in their communities and offer products and services that allow them to focus on serving their patients and growing their businesses. With years of experience partnering together, distributors understand the unique needs of the more than 22,000 independent pharmacies that they serve. That is why we continue developing and investing in services that allow pharmacies to increase efficiency and profitability while consistently improving patient care.

Prioritizing Patient Care

For most independent pharmacists, supporting and growing their business isn't just a full-time job; it's multiple full-time jobs. From advising patients and filling prescriptions to managing budgets and juggling inventory, independent pharmacists do it all.

Distributors understand the unique burdens that independent pharmacists face and provide the logistics expertise and inventory management services that allow them to prioritize patient care. By consolidating, delivering and returning orders from multiple manufacturers, distributors ensure pharmacists spend more time helping patients and less time focusing on inventory and warehousing.

Supporting Rural Communities

Pharmacists are empowered to more effectively serve their customers, because of the value-added services distributors provide — whether it is through franchising programs, consulting and technology services or supplying over-the-counter drugs and other healthcare products. This support is especially important in rural areas where underserved communities have fewer pharmacy options.

Estimates indicate that patients face an additional $60 to $120 million in costs for every one-mile increase in the average distance they must travel to a rural pharmacy. By supporting these small, but critical, independent pharmacies, distributors help increase patient access to more than 100 million medicines, resulting in overall cost savings of more than $1.8 billion a year.

Critical Financial Partners

For independent pharmacists, making sure every dollar counts is just part of the job. With tight budgets to manage, finding a reliable financial partner can mean all the difference. Pharmaceutical distributors fulfill a critical need by extending lines of credit that help bridge the gap between when a pharmacy dispenses medicines to a patient and when that patient's health plan later reimburses them. This financing provides much-needed budget relief and ensures there are no gaps in patient care.

With such an important role in local communities across the country, independent pharmacies deserve a partner who works as hard as they do, and distributors are proud to support them every day.

For additional information on the significant role distributors play in supporting their independent pharmacy partners, read the Healthcare Distribution Alliance’s recent report: The Role of Distributors in the US Health Care Industry.

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The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.


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