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Community Pharmacy in America: What Will Our Legacy be?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 @ 03:24 PM

We hear the word legacy much more today than we did in the recent past.  In fact, we had one pharmacy ownercommunity pharmacy legacy tell us that legacy is being thrown around more than the word "love" was in 80's teenage romance movies.  

More than ever, community pharmacy owners are starting to think about their legacy. We feel that this is a good thing for community pharmacists and good for  community pharmacy.  

We recently watched a video from Stephen Covey about synergy. He said with synergy 1 + 1 = 10,000. This is what is at stake. Community pharmacy is more than the sum of all the individual community pharmacies. It is a key contributor to the well-being and quality of life in communities across this country; communities that will be devastated if it disappears.  

And, to make things more difficult, Corporate America doesn't appear to care about this. This is why the success of community pharmacy depends on all of us asking ourselves the same question, "What will the legacy of community pharmacy be?"

If we (pharmacy owners, association, wholesalers, buying groups and advisors) cannot come to a consensus on what we want the legacy of community pharmacy to be, then we are going to constantly be working against each other (i.e. pulling the wagon in different directions).

Getting everyone on the same page will be one of the largest challenges facing community pharmacy over the next 10 years. Collective collaboration (as President Bill Clinton said at NCPA this year) is the solution to this. We wish there were a magic solution or a silver bullet for this problem, but there is not. Hard work and setting aside pride and egos is the solution to this problem.

In our experience, one of the main reasons for this problem is also one of our community's strengths: the spirit of independence in the community pharmacy world. When things get tough, we  tend to revert to an "us against the world" mentality. While great for individual survival and success, this mentality can hamper progress towards the greater good of community pharmacy. 

So, what can you do to help begin address the legacy of community pharmacy?

  1. Take care of you - get yourself in position to be able to transition the pharmacy on your terms
  2. Take care of the pharmacy - we all need your pharmacy to survive. If that means admitting to yourself that you need help, then so be it.
  3. Help another struggling pharmacy owner - reach out to your friends in pharmacy and see if they need help. Call the pharmacy two towns over if you hear they are struggling.  Remember, we are not competitors when it comes to community pharmacy as a whole.  We are all in this together.
  4. Look for ways to collaborate with other pharmacy owners - there is no need to reinvent the wheel every time.  This can make implementing new ideas more cost effective.
  5. Help Waypoint with the projects described below.  We will be sending out details on this soon.

Note: To do a little more to protect the legacy of community pharmacy in America, Waypoint is initiating the Positively Pharmacist Project (Spring 2014).

The time for action is now. If we are going to turn tide for community pharmacy, it is going to take all of us working together. The future of Community Pharmacy is at stake.

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Where does this wisdom come from?

The content of this blog is inspired and verified by our experience helping independent community pharmacists enjoy financial independence during and after their life in pharmacy.

When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we endeavor to give them as much free value as is possible. In addition to providing educational, self-assessment and strategic planning tools (like The Helping Community Pharmacy Survey), we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a personalized roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.

If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.

At Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!

Topics: community pharmacy owner, community pharmacy benefits, community pharmacy independence