The economy is heating up for pharmacies

As a pharmacy, surviving the current harsh economic climate is somewhat akin to getting through a heat wave. I walked past a pharmacy the other day that had closed shop and recently spoke to a pharmacist that had to sell off his premises due to its financial under performance. I’ve heard others report less clients turning up and patients requesting cheaper alternatives.

What can be done

To survive a physical heat wave, you need to cool yourself down by all means. Fans, A/C, cold drinks, ice packs are all options. Regardless of the associated cost for these options, they are a wise investment as the benefit of applying them outweighs the cost. Similarly with economic heat, cooling measures need to be applied to help you get out there and keep things going. Here are 3 suggestions for your community practice:

1. Know your MVP’s (most valuable patients) 

Your MVP’s are those that take multiple drugs like – Exforge, Crestor, Lantus or other high value drugs for chronic diseases. They must necessarily take their medications for extended periods. Keep track of them and make sure they always come back to refill their medications using SMS or phone call reminders

2. Deliver extra services that demonstrate your care

Following on from identifying your chronic disease patients, you may consider arranging home deliveries for your MVP’s. A new company, does same day delivery for as little as N600 in Lagos. Take advantage. MVP’s will often not mind paying for it. Ensure to add a check in phone call to ensure all is well.

3. Make some noise with community events

Look into your local community and provide healthy fun activities in  partnership with others. You probably have come across a popular pharmacy chain that offers zumba (dance fitness) classes for its clients. Your community might respond better to a local ‘ayo’ championship to buttress the need for hobbies to reduce stress and avoid disease in these tough times.

As with covering up during a heat wave, cutting business costs willy-nilly may spell doom. Seek ways instead to continue to create value and show to your community the importance of their health and your pharmacy regardless of the economic environment, after all there hasn’t been much of a slow down in the owambe scene.

Would love to hear how you’re weathering the current economic heat, tell us in the comments section below.