Saving Money, Supporting Community: The Affordability of Local Independent Pharmacies
Your medical care is bigger than just your family physician. Maybe you see specialists. You also have prescriptions that need to be filled. The pharmacist is part of your medical team. There is no shortage of pharmacies to choose from so why should you select a local independent pharmacy vs a big box pharmacy?
Local pharmacies are owned and operated by people in your community. Through relationships in your town or even through repeated stops at the store, the pharmacy team will get to know you. These locally owned businesses build their business off earning your trust and building relationships. Because of this, they will provide you with top quality customer service. A survey found that 81% of customers believe small businesses provide better customer service.
Large chain pharmacies process a massive volume of prescriptions. There are so many people coming through the door that it is nearly impossible for their pharmacy team to build a relationship with customers. At a local pharmacy you are more than a number. According to a study by Consumer Reports, more than half of patients who filled their prescriptions at an independent pharmacy said that their pharmacist knew them by name. This is a much more personal experience than the 14% of large chain pharmacists who greeted their customers by name.
Your first instinct might be to select a larger chain pharmacy due to hours of operation. Yes, those stores might be open more hours but that doesn’t mean a local pharmacy cannot provide you better service.
Local pharmacies have a smaller pharmacy staff and therefore have shorter operating hours. They make a huge effort to get you your prescriptions during the day though. Many of these businesses provide free delivery services. Delivery is not prescriptions fulfilled by mail order but rather a member of the pharmacy team bringing your prescriptions to your home or business as directed. This makes customers feel valued and like they are receiving more of a white glove treatment.
All pharmacists are supposed to track drug interaction to keep you safe. Improper drug interactions can be life threatening. Several local pharmacies take medication organization to the next level for patient safety. If you or someone you love is taking a list of medications with multiple dosing schedules, you may need some help building out the scheduling. A pharmacist can recommend custom blister or bubble packs for the patient. This will group together pills that need to be taken at certain times and label each of those dosage times. A patient will be able to confidently take their medication at the right time.
Everyone wants to watch their out of pocket costs with prescriptions. You may think that larger pharmacies have lower prices due to their volume. That isn’t always the case. Many local pharmacies have a lower profit margin which can allow lower prices. These pharmacies have their own skin in the game. They want to keep your business in house as you are directly supporting them and the local economy.
In these local pharmacies, you’ll find a staff who will talk you through your options. They will help you find discounts when possible. They understand that prescriptions can be expensive and they don’t want you to forsake your health because of the financial burden of the medication.
Your time is valuable. Small pharmacies have a track record of shorter wait times than larger chains. The local businesses have a better sense of how to help the patient who is waiting and then filling prescriptions that aren’t as time sensitive at other times. This balance creates a better customer experience and helps you to get out the door and on your way faster.
If you are currently not with a small pharmacy, now is the time for you to check out one of our local pharmacies. College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, and P&S Pharmacy are small businesses here in East Tennessee who pride themselves in customer service. They want to gain your trust and build a relationship with you. We strive to put patients first and help you improve your health. Please come by and see us.