ARLINGTON, Va. — A new report from the Food Marketing Institute here shows the supermarket pharmacy business to be healthy, and expanding in services and tie-in opportunities.
Among other findings, “Supermarket Pharmacy Trends 2008” reports that key benchmarks are up significantly from 2002 to 2007, including median number of prescriptions filled per day, median percentage of prescription sales from generic drugs, media percentage of prescription sales to total store sales, and median of the gross margin for the pharmacy department.
Additionally, the study said 92.7% of supermarket pharmacies will be ready for e-prescribing by the end of the year, while nearly half offer medication therapy management in either all or some stores, with another third planning to implement it over the next year.
“What is most significant [about the report] is that in today's volatile marketplace, whether it is competition from other retail pharmacy providers, mail-order providers or competition to keep the overall health care costs down, supermarket pharmacies continue to post strong and steady performance figures,” said Cathy Polley, FMI's vice president of pharmacy services.
“That demonstrates that today's consumers are really interested in managing their own health care. A supermarket pharmacy is well positioned to help that patient, not only with their medications, but with that entire total-store shopping experience to be able to manage their health care,” she said.
“It shows that pharmacy in the grocery industry is healthy and continuing to show uptrends in sales, while also showing some improvements in efficiencies,” said Randy Heiser, vice president, pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh. Heiser is the immediate past chair of the FMI Pharmacy Services Committee.
In addition to reporting on pharmacy operations statistics, technology, in-store services, staffing issues and MTM, the report also picked up material on “Successful Healthy Eaters” from FMI's “Shopping for Health Study,” conducted with Prevention magazine. It noted that “successful eaters” are goal-oriented, have a plan, stick to the plan, eat healthy at home and seek information. The section also noted that “successful eaters” are slightly older than average, with 37% 60 or older, compared with 26% of all shoppers.
Health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol all relate to dietary habits, Polley said. “The results of what consumers said about their eating habits really goes to show that the pharmacist can be leveraged within that store to help the diabetic patient come in and make healthier food choices.
“Our members have recognized the need to help consumers navigate health, wellness and nutritional information. Today's supermarkets with pharmacies are beautifully positioned to be able to blend the health and wellness and pharmacy offerings.”
Supermarket pharmacies will be ready for e-prescribing by the end of the year.
Source: 2008 Supermarket Pharmacy Trends