Pharmacy Data Sets the Record Straight: Number of Independent Pharmacies in U.S. Increasing

(Washington, D.C.) — The number of independent pharmacies in the United States increased in 2020, according to a new analysis of pharmacy data. Pharmacy data from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, analyzed by the healthcare analytics firm Quest Analytics, shows the overall number of independent pharmacy stores increased by 449 between January 2020 and January 2021.

The analysis of new pharmacy store data also continues to show an overall 10-year positive trend for retail independent pharmacy openings in the U.S. Today, there are 2,645 more independent pharmacies than there were in 2011, which is almost a 13% increase over 10 years.

View Infographic on Pharmacy Data: Nationwide, More Independent Pharmacies in 2020.

“Neighborhood pharmacies play an important role in helping patients access their prescription drugs, a role made all the more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This data sets the record straight that independent pharmacies continued to do well in 2020. Overall, there are more community pharmacies today than 10 years ago. Federal and state lawmakers should avoid enacting policies based on a misperception about pharmacy closure rates, especially when those policies risk increasing drug costs for patients at exactly the wrong time,” said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO JC Scott. “Independent pharmacies, PBMs, and others in the drug supply and payment chain have worked together during the pandemic and should continue to focus on helping patients access affordable prescription drugs and lead healthier lives.”



PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).  PBMs administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans who have health insurance from a variety of sponsors including:  commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, union plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), state government employee plans, Medicaid plans, and others.