The Independent Pharmacy Marketplace is Still Stable

Annually, we update our dataset from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) that includes the counts of the number of independent pharmacies in every state. Last year, we noticed an interesting pattern in the data. Despite small fluctuations in the counts each year, the total had changed very little over the previous five years.

Between January 2022 and January 2023, the total number of independent pharmacies nationwide increased by 99, a 0.4% increase. Looking at the new five-year trend, the number of independent pharmacies has increased by 0.5%. Overall, the 2023 pharmacy counts have added another data point, but the result is clear: the independent pharmacy marketplace remains stable.



Over the last 10 years (2013-2023), the number of independent pharmacies
increased by 7.5%.


In the last year (2022-2023), the number of independent pharmacies increased by

What is even more interesting than the continuing stability of the independent pharmacy count in the NCPDP data is that others seem to be coming around to the same conclusion. For many years the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the independent pharmacy lobby, has asserted that pharmacy benefit companies are driving store closures. However, in their annual 2022 Digest Report, NCPA made the surprising announcement that the “independent pharmacy category was essentially flat,” increasing by 0.4%.”

And this pharmacy stability is good for patients. A healthy pharmacy market is critical for patients’ access to medications and allows pharmacists to continue to fill their important role as trusted advisors to their patients.

Our updated The Independent Pharmacy Marketplace is Stable web page has the new 2023 data, but the same old message.