HealthMarch 24, 2024

Retail pharmacies can engage and empower patients today for a healthier tomorrow

Through engaging and educating patients with health content for consumers, retail pharmacies can proactively take a more central role in the care continuum.

The global retail pharmacy market is projected to grow more than 40% from 2022 to 2032, largely driven by increased need for medications and services to treat chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disorders. This growing demand presents a significant opportunity for retail pharmacies to expand their footprint as providers of care while also making a positive impact on patient outcomes.

To capitalize on this opportunity, pharmacy leaders can target a few key strategies.

1. Improving medication adherence

One of the most meaningful ways retail pharmacies can improve patient outcomes – especially for high-touch patients with complex chronic conditions – is by helping to drive medication adherence. Medication adherence for chronic conditions is estimated to be as low as 50%, and adherence drops to even lower rates when patients experience barriers to accessing and taking medications. There are several ways retail pharmacists can support improved medication adherence:

  • Work with patients to optimize medication regimens
  • Provide evidence-based education, counseling and ongoing support
  • Ensure seamless transitions of care following hospital discharge
  • Personalize care with proactive patient communication apps and digital tools such as QR codes to improve patient engagement
  • When available, inform patients of lower price generics to help them manage costs

2. Engaging younger health consumers

Another opportunity for retail pharmacists to improve long-term health outcomes is by empowering the next generation of consumers to take a proactive approach to their healthcare. According to the 2023 Wolters Kluwer Pharmacy Next consumer survey, more than half of Gen Z and Millennials (56% and 54%, respectively) have visited a local pharmacy to receive non-emergency care in the last year. With younger generations already relying on pharmacies as primary healthcare providers, retail pharmacies are well-positioned to earn loyalty among customers at an early age by offering convenient, cost-effective, personalized care.

3. Addressing pharmacy industry challenges

While retail pharmacies are primed to become central care hubs in the healthcare system of the future, they face a number of roadblocks. Between rising prescription drug costs, staffing shortages, and ongoing pharmacist burnout, retail pharmacies are looking for solutions to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce administrative burdens to retain top talent, and help pharmacists provide the highest level of service and patient care.

In addition, while digitalization and automation are helping pharmacies address staff shortages and improve the consumer experience, they also open pharmacies up to security concerns. In 2023, 88% of healthcare organizations experienced at least one cyberattack. To reduce the risk of outages, retail pharmacies must consider security-related features when selecting a cloud platform and take steps to address any internal software application vulnerabilities.

Becoming a future-ready pharmacy

Americans are increasingly turning to local pharmacies for a broad range of services, from vaccinations to nutrition advice to care for minor injuries. Retail pharmacies must become future-ready by proactively expanding their services and engaging customers to secure their larger role within the healthcare ecosystem.

To learn more about how the future of retail pharmacies is evolving, download the infographic and read about challenges and opportunities for becoming a future-ready pharmacy.

Download the Infographic
Embedded drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication prescribing
Organizations use Medi-Span® drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication decisions, and to help reduce prescribing errors by optimizing alert systems.
Back To Top