Why start a blog named “Independent Pharmacy Review”

When I wanted to start my own pharmacy business, I looked all over for guidance on this topic.  I looked to The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) for information and found a treatise on “Opening a Pharmacy:   A “How to” guide” and “Effective Pharmacy Management”.   Although both books were a good beginning, especially for those with little or no pharmacy experience, there was still a large number of topics which needed to be addressed, including:

  • What path to ownership should I take?
    • Should I choose a junior partnership?
    • Should I purchase a pharmacy outright?
    • Should I start a new pharmacy from scratch? If so,
      • How much money do I need?
      • Where do I obtain financing?
      • How much time will it take to become profitable?
    • Should I start this venture on my own or with partners?
      • How will I find partners?
      • What kind and how much business experience should I look for in a partner?
      • Do my partners have to be pharmacists?
    • How much business experience do I need to run a pharmacy?
      • Where & how will I learn the necessary skills to operate the “business” of pharmacy?
      • How much time will I have to devote to the business, while working as its sole pharmacist?
      • How will I hire, train and manage pharmacy staff?
      • Is previous management experience necessary or do I have to get an MBA in order to run a successful pharmacy business?
    • Can I still be a pharmacy clinician while owning and operating an independent pharmacy?
      • Will I have time to provide Medication Therapy Management?
      • Will I be able to use my expertise as a pharmacist to be a resource to my customers and patients on special topics such as diabetes, women’s health, weight loss, etc.?

The questions above were only a sampling of what I wanted to know before embarking on this adventure.  So I continued to search for answers on the internet, from other pharmacy owners, and representatives of various wholesalers.

In 2005 when I began to consider pharmacy ownership, I had already been working as a pharmacist in various positions (staff pharmacist, pharmacy manager, pharmacy development manager, etc.) for close to 20 years.  I knew I should not make this decision lightly, so I researched the topic to death before I took the plunge.  Still, it took close to 5 years and a lot of effort and heartache before I was able to make my dream of pharmacy ownership a reality.

I am starting this blog in order to offer a forum for all independent pharmacists as well as those who wish to or are considering operating an independent pharmacy.  I want to discuss current and past issues affecting the business of pharmacy and develop practical solutions for the problems facing independent pharmacists today.

I invite all of you to chime in on the topics being discussed and hope to solicit new topics from you for future discussion.  I look forward to guest authors who may want to express their views on issues currently under discussion or to introduce other relevant topics.  Most of all I am excited to start a blog that I hope develops into the true voice of the independent pharmacist!!

About Ali

I have been a pharmacist since 1986. I have practiced in the community pharmacy setting since 1989. During this time I have learned a great deal about the challenges pharmacists must overcome to provide quality service and patient care. Forging relationships with patients, physicians, pharmacy organizations, other pharmacists, and pharmacy personnel have offered me a unique perspective in how to own and operate a successful pharmacy. I constantly strive to learn new avenues to advance the profession as well as the business of pharmacy. I graduated from University of Washington in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, and again in 1989 with a Master in Business Administration. I continued on to Willamette University College of Law, where I earned my Certificate in Dispute Resolution and Juris Doctor in 1992. I hold pharmacy licenses in Washington, Oregon (Retired), and California, and am a member of the California Bar.
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1 Response to Why start a blog named “Independent Pharmacy Review”

  1. Chris Lee says:

    Very cool. Excited to read what you have to share about running an independent pharmacy business.


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