New Academic Analysis Sets the Record Straight: Number of Independent Pharmacies in U.S. Increasing 

(Washington, D.C.) — A new academic analysis, “Independent Pharmacies in the U.S. are More on the Rise than on the Decline,” sets the record straight on the health of independent pharmacies in the U.S. by showing the overall number of stores has increased by 2,600 over the last decade, approximately a 13 percent increase.

“The number one objective for independent pharmacies, PBMs, and everyone in the drug supply and payment chain should be helping patients access affordable prescription drugs and lead healthier lives,” said PCMA President & CEO JC Scott. “Accusations that PBMs are forcing store closures are unproductive and not based in fact. There are more independent pharmacies now than there were five and ten years ago.”

The analysis was conducted by Professors Pete Hatemi and Christopher Zorn with Pennsylvania State University.

Read the Analysis

Key Findings:

  • In terms of absolute change in the number of stores, independent pharmacies are faring better than chain pharmacies. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of independent pharmacies increased by more than 2,600 stores, or 12.9%, whereas chains lost around 80 stores, or 0.2%.
  • Longitudinal analyses find that on average, there is an increase of six independent stores per year from 2010-2019 in states.
  • The relative growth in the number of independent pharmacy stores at the state level is positively correlated to chain pharmacies. When chain pharmacies grow within a state, independent pharmacies also increase.

PBMs are the advocates for 266 million consumers in the fight to keep prescription drugs accessible and affordable. Using advanced tools to manage pharmacy benefits, such as negotiating price concessions from drug manufacturers, offering patient care management programs and services to improve patient adherence to prescribed medications, encouraging the use of generic drugs, managing high-cost specialty medications, and offering more affordable pharmacy channels, PBMs are achieving an overall stable drug trend for prescription drug costs and helping patients live higher quality and healthier lives.