Differences Between a Pharmacy and a Compounding Pharmacy

At one time a compounding pharmacy was the only type of drug store there was. The pharmacists mixed the appropriate ingredients in measured doses to create the medication that the doctor ordered for their patients. You had to know how to mix these compounds in order to be a pharmacist. Then drug companies began to do the mixing and delivered the medications to the drug store already prepared. The pharmacist only had to administer the correct amount in a container and keep records of the medications on file.

The compounding pharmacy is able to create medications with specialized amounts of each ingredient to suit the patient’s needs and tolerances. Some people have allergies and need medications created that omit one or more ingredients. There are children who need medications to be made into a liquid form so they can take them. The pharmacist used specialized tools to measure each ingredient and mix the concoctions to the precise amount.

A regular drug store fills your prescriptions from your doctor by getting a large container they have in the back and counting out the measured amount of the medication that your doctor said you could have. They do not make the medications in the back they simply put the medicines in a different container and label it for you. A compounding pharmacy will also fill prescriptions in this manner, but they have the ability to make some medicines on site.

A compounding pharmacy can almost always be found in a hospital. The doses of medications that people in the hospital receive must be precise. A lot of the things that need mixed together are for intravenous delivery and the hospital pharmacy is there to create the exact mix of medications in the intravenous delivery bag according to the doctor’s orders.

Whenever the pharmaceutical technicians adds anything to a medication, takes anything away from a medication, or changes the form of a medication they are compounding it. Some drug stores have the ability to add flavors to cough syrups and elixirs that children take and while this is compounding it is not the same as taking components and making the entire elixir. Adding flavors to liquid medicines may be the only form of compounding that your local drug store can do.

When the doctor orders you to have a medication that is going to require the more specialized services of the pharmacist that still does compounding they will tell you. They will also tell you which pharmacies in your town are capable of creating the medication that you need. These medicines are often ordered for pediatric patients with heart conditions because the doses on their medicines are subject to change due to their weight and growth. The medicines are also given to other patients who have chronic or terminal conditions they are receiving treatment for.

Your local drug store is where you will get the majority of your medications and they will keep an accurate record to help protect you from drug interactions.

Buying a Pharmacy: What You Need to Know About This Industry Before You Buy

The outlook is good for the pharmacy industry. It’s stable and growing. The 2010 Healthcare Reform Act, expanded insurance coverage for many Americans, making prescription drugs more affordable. As a result of this there has been an increased demand for pharmaceuticals creating some growth in the industry. As America’s growing population ages, owning a pharmacy sounds like a good investment. Keep in mind the this industry is highly regulated by the government which is not the case with other traditional commercial businesses. If you are considering buying a pharmacy there are several things you will need to know including deciding on what kind you want to own, assessing your personal finances, and checking a company’s financials against industry benchmarks.

Decide What Kind of Pharmacy You Want To Own

You need to decide what kind of pharmacy you want to own; a franchise or an independent one. If you want to go the franchise route keep in mind that industry leaders who are dominating the market including chains like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid are not currently offering any franchising opportunities. However, there are many small companies that exist that are offering franchising opportunities.

If you decide to go the independent pharmacy route, there are several options to consider. It is common practice to buy into a partnership of an existing operation. This is advantageous because your initial investment will be much lower than if you were going it alone. The best option would be to get into a pharmacy where the owner plans to retire in the next 3-5 years. You can learn from their expertise and also share in expenses. Another option to consider is buying a pharmacy that caters to a niche market. An example of a niche market pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy. These types of operations can be highly lucrative.

Know Your Finances

Most pharmacy sales are all cash. If you plan to finance your business keep in mind banks want to see around 20% of your own money down. Banks may not fund the entire purchase price. You will need to know how you will make up the difference. Seller financing may be an available option. Sellers offer financing typically for 3-7 years with an interest rate at prime plus or minus 1-2 percent.

Financial Benchmarks

According to IBISWorld.com, pharmacies and drug stores in the US generate $248 billion each year. 52,193 businesses are sharing in that revenue and within those businesses, 775,721 people are employed. The average pharmacy will fill 54,427 prescriptions annually or 174 per day and the average independent pharmacy typically generates $2.8 million in sales each year. Cost of goods sold will be your highest expense running at about 75% of annual sales.


Traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies are facing increased competition from online retailers of prescription drugs. However, overall, buying one can be a good business investment as it is a pretty stable industry that will most likely grow as America’s population ages.

Pharmacy Technician Salary Information

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist and help pharmacists distribute medicines. This involves taking information and filling up a prescription, counting tablets and measuring other prescription medicines, mixing medications and preparing creams or ointments, and prepares various other intravenous medications.

Thus, the role of a pharmacy technician is as important as other jobs in the medical field. Considering the tasks and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, how much salary does one make in a year?

For those who are just beginning with their career as pharmacy technician, the salary can start at $7-$8 an hour, while those who have longer years of experience in the field can earn up to $13-$15 per hour. Roughly, that is $26,000-$29,000 annually.

Factors Affecting Compensation

Various factors help determine the salary of a medical practitioner such as location of practice, industry, years of service, and credentials considering that there are also technicians who earn up to $40,000 per year.

Salary according to State

According to studies, average rate for pharmacy technicians is from $12-$16 per hour, and among the highest paying States are:

– Alaska – $18.75 per hour ($39,100 per annum)
– Washington, California, and District of Columbia – $18.50 per hour ($38,500 per annum)
– Hawaii – $17.00 per hour ($35,300 per annum)
– Oregon and Nevada – $16.50 per hour ($34,300 per annum)
– Wyoming and Connecticut – $16 per hour ($33,500 per annum)

On the other hand, following are States that pay the least for pharmacy technicians:

– Puerto Rico – $9.60 per hour ($20,000 per annum)
– West Virginia – $11.90 per hour ($24,900 per annum)
– Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky – $12.20 per hour ($25,300 per annum)
– Virgin Islands, Arkansas, and Oklahoma – $12.40 per hour ($25,800 per annum)
– Ohio – $12.90 per hour – ($26,800 per annum)

Even though the above States pay lower than most other States, one thing that must be taken into account as well is that the above States have lower cost of living, thus, the per hour rates are still competitive especially after taxes and other fees have already been deducted.

Salary according to Industry

On the average, those who found employment in hospitals are said to receive higher pay than those working in pharmacies and drugstores.

– Hospital – $32,500
– Grocery Stores – $28,800
– Pharmacies and drug stores – $27,000
– Department stores (drugstores in malls) – $25,800
– Other stores – $25,400

Other Factors

As mentioned earlier, experience and credentials also determine the salary of practitioners. On the average, pharmacy technicians who have 3-7 years of experience can enjoy additional 10% salary increase per year, while those technicians who pass their certification can earn a one-time additional 10% increase on top of the regular salary. These are just a few of the reasons on how a pharmacy technician can earn up to $60,000 annually.

Employment Prospects

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, career prospects for these health professionals is positive and is expected to experience job growth by 32% of its current population of 335,000 practitioners until 2020 – that is about 110,000 job openings for pharmacy technicians.

Therefore, now is the best time to decide whether this is the best job for prospective students or professionals who want a career change.

Discount Pharmacy and Control

One of the benefits of internet is that it has changed human perceptions about some critical aspects of human behaviour. For example before the advent of internet, a delicate matter like drug prescription for sicknesses or other body well being are exclusively the handiwork of a professional pharmacist.

The good news is that these critical human challenges have been changed overnight with the emergence of internet; drugs can now be purchased effortlessly online at a very cheap rate. This idea is called discount pharmacy.

It is a discount pharmacy because it takes care of all health care needs at affordable rate and the best service is also guaranteed. That is to say all the trips to neighbourhood drug store with its attendance long queue will be a thing of the past.

According to a report, discount pharmacy comes into being because of the absence of drug price regulation in the American societies. The Americans were reported to be paying for drugs more that other countries. Because large pharmaceutical companies are not producing at cheaper rates and it is beyond the reach of a common man.

Consequently, the US consumers started looking outside the American pharmaceutical drug markets for cheaper alternatives. Then the online discount pharmacies started gradually to take over and to save people from the exorbitant pricing regime. It has been seen an easy alternative to buying drugs and at a cheaper price, but not without its own demerits.

Discount pharmacy may be the last saving grace for its large customers, but the question is “how regulated are the drugs coming out of the shelves of the discount pharmaceutical companies”? The answer to the question is for the drug control bodies to get involved in the selling business. Because the drug control bodies have the power to licence any discount pharmacy before going online.

Discount pharmacy, is useless if the quality of the drugs dispensed is of low quality or fake drug or scammer acting as a discount pharmacies. All the mentioned attributes can cast a doubt of credibility on discount pharmacy and therefore needs to be addressed before considering buying from a discount pharmacist.

To guard against this discrepancy, it is good to know the real physical address of a discount pharmacist and the address must be complete with a toll free number with a good and effective customer service in tow.

Another point is that a good discount pharmacy must have an email address and an evidence of being licensed to practice as a professional pharmacist or they are able to fulfil order through a licensed pharmacist.

Discount pharmacy must also state a privacy or disclosure policy, to know that the information relating to a buyer is secured or verification of the information so disclosed shall be subjected to further verifications. Otherwise spammers might be posing as a discount pharmacist.

Another major demerit is the time of delivery, which is often slow compared to a face to approach from a live pharmaceutical arrangement. Prescription verification methods is also an important, the approach of a discount pharmacy to prescriptions online is an important issues to be considered because a discount pharmacy that ship drugs online without a prescription cannot be seen as being compliant. Therefore if the shortcomings of discount pharmacies are taken care of, the next best thing is for the buyers to beware.