Opening New Pharmacy

The opening up and start-ups of new retail pharmacies are once again on the rise. With the explosion of specialty pharmacies leading the list over the past decade, the number of new pharmacies that have opened across the nation rose to the highest level ever in every state during 2019. Of interest to many is the fact that the independent retail pharmacies are making a comeback in many communities and their growth is indicative of the health of the independent community pharmacy as a great business venture to get into.

Recent Partnership Offers a Great Solution

A recent partnership that was made public just this past week was the alliance forged between two major business institutions in Williamstown, Massachusetts: Berkshire Health Systems and Williams College. Following the shutdown and closing of the only local retail pharmacy servicing the area’s residents several years ago, both the students attending Williams College and the local neighborhood townsfolk have often experienced challenges and frustration in getting their prescriptions and medications locally.

The solution: Williams College officials and the management team at Berkshire Health Systems decided to form a “Retail Pharmacy Partnership” and announced that they would jointly open a new retail community drugstore named Williamstown Apothecary in a space already owned by the college. The proposed new retail site is currently undergoing both permitting and renovation, and is expected to officially open their doors for business in early April of this year.

“In discussions with Williams College leadership, the desire to have a pharmacy in easy walking distance from the college campus was cited as a significant need for students, faculty and staff, and will also greatly benefit the overall community,” said Darlene Rodowicz, BHS chief financial officer. “Having something close to campus was just really important, and to have a partner in that with BHS made a lot of sense.” The fact that BHS is already operating two other pharmacies (one at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and the other at Berkshire Medical Center’s North Campus in North Adams) made it clear that they were the perfect partner for Williams College to align themselves with to insure both a smooth startup of the new retail drugstore, plus the ongoing management and expertise required for a successful and profitable pharmacy startup venture. The Williamstown Apothecary will be operated by Berkshire Health Systems through its Berkshire Community Pharmacy as a full retail pharmacy with patients having access to both legend prescription drugs plus OTC (over-the-counter) medications.

What Factors Need Consideration In a New Pharmacy Startup?

There are numerous factors to consider in the planning, execution and long-term success of the opening up of and maintaining a new pharmacy business. The planning and execution are really the keys to a smooth pharmacy operation being opened and becoming a successful business. For en entire list of all tasks, duties and requirements involved in the opening up a new pharmacy, please visit our Pharmacy Startup section.

Some of the considerations and tasks that are required for a successful pharmacy business to be started begin well before the actual opening.  These may include:
– Creation and review of a business plan
– Deciding what type of corporation to form – basically of the five primary types to choose from (Limited Liability or LLC, C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Sole Proprietorship or a General partnership), most experts recommend an S-Corporation for an independent community pharmacy.
– Evaluation of proposed business location (of course most people will agree that this is perhaps the most important consideration of them all)
– Start up costs (these not only include prescription and OTC medication inventory costs, but a long list of items such as equipment, signage, advertising, insurance, security, etc. A very well done list is available at INNOVATIONS in pharmacy, although the pricing may not be as accurate and up to date as possible)
– Design recommendations
– Obtaining of the proper financing that you may require
– Assistance and guidance in the application process
– Hiring of a Pharmacy Manger and/or Pharmacist in Charge (PIC) for both the application process and inspection
– Purchasing the equipment and supplies (both for the Board of Pharmacy inspection and the actual dispensing and pharmacy operations)
– Choosing the right software and technology
– Making arrangements for the final inspection of the facility (including a mock-inspection)
– Choosing the best vendors
– Obtaining legal support
– Staffing (not only the pharmacist, but technicians and ancillary staff such as cashiers and other support personnel)

Getting Help With Opening a New Pharmacy 

HCC is the Pharmacy Consulting Company that is experienced and nationally known for starting (pharmacy start-up), moving and expanding pharmacies throughout the US for over 30+ years now. Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing has helped hundreds of satisfied Pharmacy owners through the process in almost every state. This includes the start-up and opening of independent retail community pharmacies, specialty pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, compounding pharmacies and IV infusion pharmacies.

Once Your Pharmacy Is Open 

HCC is also always there to service your needs and available to provide you additional pharmacy services. A sampling of our pharmacy staffing and pharmacy consulting services include:
Pharmacy Staffing – This includes both temporary and permanent placement.
– Training and Compliance – HIPAA, CQI, JCAHO, OSHA, USP, Policy & Procedures; there are many state and federally required programs that must be implemented by all pharmacies. Our experts will assess your needs and help you achieve compliance through training.
Inspections and Audits – Is your pharmacy inspection coming up? We can take the anxiety out of this event by performing a pre-inspection audit. Our consultants are well-versed in each state’s Board of Pharmacy rules and regulations, plus we are able to objectively review your pharmacy opertation with a critical eye. Does your pharmacy compound medications? Our experts will assess your compliance to your state’s rules and USP guidance. We will then present our findings and recommendations to you, so that there will be no surprises during the actual inspection.
Business Performance and Efficiency – Our experts have been involved in all aspects of pharmacy practices, large and small. We can analyze and evaluate your current operation and offer insight and suggestions to improve efficiency and workflow.

If you are considering opening up a new pharmacy, we strongly urge you to get in touch with us today for a free consultation. With a history of more pharmacy startups than other pharmacy consulting companies, we offer you the support of an experienced staff who have been through the process many times and know the business inside and out! Whether you are a seasoned business professional with experience opening new pharmacies or simply considering a pharmacy venture as a new business investment, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can help you. With over 30+ years of experience, we have helped hundreds of business owners (pharmacists and non-pharmacists alike) open up and establish new successful pharmacy practices in almost every state. Contact us online or call us today at 800-642-1652 for a Free Consultation to discuss how we can help you.


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