Valuable tools and resources for independent ownership

Planning to become a pharmacy owner can be a daunting task — but with the help of proven resources, the process can be dramatically simplified. As part of McKesson’s commitment to supporting that process, we have assembled a valuable collection of tools and resources to help you achieve your goal of pharmacy ownership.

Guiding you to your ownership goals

For many pharmacy professionals, the ultimate goal of a pharmacy career is ownership. The freedom and responsibility that come with owning and managing your own pharmacy are unmatched in our industry. However, the process of buying an independent pharmacy can be complex.

To help you navigate this process, we’ve developed guides that cover the major decisions and steps involved.

For Buying or Starting a Pharmacy, the guide lays out four key phases of acquiring a pharmacy with suggested actions for each phase. It helps from evaluating the opportunity and choosing a location, to finalizing the deal and opening the doors to your new pharmacy.

For Selling a Pharmacy, the guide lays out the three phases of selling a pharmacy with suggested actions for each phase. It helps with identifying the major decisions and steps involved from planning and researching, to preparing to sell, and ultimately completing the sale.

RxOwnership’s goal is to support you in opening your brand new pharmacy, acquiring an existing pharmacy or selling your pharmacy to another independent. We can help you understand your options, find the information you need about the process and financing, identify locations, and suggest the types of business consultants who can support you, such as lawyers and accountants who specialize in retail businesses. RxOwnership also has created tools to assist you in evaluating your goals and creating a business plan. And, when appropriate, we’ll collaborate to help you engage McKesson assistance, like your area credit manager, Health Mart® and outside resources.

If you are interested in receiving a guide to help you acquire, start or sell an independent pharmacy, please fill out your contact information and let us know what you’re interested in by selecting from the dropdown menu.

Common financing and credit terms you should understand

Promissory note

A promissory note is a legal document that the borrower must sign to get a loan. By signing this note, the borrower promises to repay the loan, with interest, in specified installments. The promissory note contains the terms and conditions of the loan, including how and when the loan must be repaid.


Dating is a form of short-term financing that allows customers to pay for certain purchases beyond the terms normally offered.

“Take back a note”

When the seller helps the buyer by acting as a lender, the seller may finance all or part of the sale. Another term given to such seller financing is “seller carry back” financing. The seller is carrying back part of the financing on the property being sold. Some advantages of “seller carry back” financing to the seller include:

Getting a better price by providing financing for the buyer rather than requiring the buyer to pay upfront in cash

Deferring taxes at the time of the sale by using an installment sale

Receiving a higher interest rate from the buyer than if the seller put the proceeds from a cash sale in the bank, a CD or money market fund

Monthly income secured by a business that the seller understands and can monitor

Widening the pool of prospective buyers and a faster sale because of the seller financing

Prime rate

The prime rate is the interest rate charged by banks to their most creditworthy customers. The rate is almost always the same among major banks, and therefore is a practical rate for McKesson to use as the basis for the interest rate it charges on loans. Prime is variable. Adjustments to the prime rate are made by banks at the same time, although the prime rate does not adjust on any regular basis. McKesson offers competitive interest rates to those who qualify.

Health Mart pharmacy franchise benefits

The Health Mart difference

When you join Health Mart, you join a network of thousands of best-in-class independent pharmacies and benefit from a comprehensive portfolio of programs that help you compete and improve profitability. In addition, you align with a national brand widely recognized for superior customer service. But at the same time, you maintain full control over how you position and market yourself in your community, so you can promote the unique qualities of your store.

Assets for your competitive advantage

Professional exterior and interior signage and décor that align you to the Health Mart pharmacy national brand and foster loyalty and recognition

Association with the brand recognized by consumers and acclaimed third-party organizations, such as Consumer Reports, as a leader in customer satisfaction

Recognition by the top PBMs, including listings of Health Mart in patient-facing materials

A different kind of franchise

Health Mart presents a pharmacy business model that is designed for today’s independent pharmacy. You can enjoy all the benefits of independent pharmacy ownership with a robust and flexible portfolio of programs and resources, but without the obligations and commitment that other franchises require.

Unlike other pharmacy franchise opportunities, Health Mart:

Does not require an initiation fee to join

Requires only a fixed monthly franchise fee, with no revenue requirements

Includes a no-fault opt-out clause that lets franchisees leave the franchise without penalty at any time with 90 days’ written notice

Visit Health Mart to learn more.

Helpful links

Do you need help writing a sample business plan?

The U.S. Small Business Administration is America’s most powerful engine of opportunity and economic growth. The SBA offers a variety of programs and support services to help small businesses.

Are you looking for your state’s pharmacy association?

The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) promotes leadership, sharing, learning and policy exchange among state pharmacy associations and pharmacy leaders nationwide, and provides education and advocacy to support pharmacists, patients and communities working together to improve public health.

Need your DEA number so that you are licensed to order and dispense prescription narcotics?

The Drug Enforcement Administration has all the forms needed for those applying to DEA for a controlled substance registration.

Interested in learning about solutions that challenge the healthcare industry?

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) and the pharmacy industry have developed solutions to problems that continue to challenge the rest of healthcare. These include real-time claims adjudication, eligibility and benefit verification, real-time ordering by the physician, and sharing of medication history. The lessons we have learned can be valuable to other healthcare sectors.

Need help getting your National Provider Identifier (NPI) number?

Organizations can apply for an NPI through the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).

Want to learn more about the largest association of pharmacists in the United States?

The American Pharmacist Association (APhA) is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care.

Looking to connect with the NCPA?

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898 as the National Association of Retail Druggists (NARD), represents the pharmacist owners, managers and employees of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies across the United States. The nation’s independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation’s retail prescription medicines.

The nation’s independent pharmacists are small-business entrepreneurs and multifaceted healthcare providers who represent a vital part of the United States’ healthcare delivery system. They have roots in America’s communities. They are community leaders actively involved in community-oriented public health, civic and volunteer projects. Many hold local elected offices; others serve as state legislators.

  • We are dedicated to the continuing growth and prosperity of independent community pharmacy in the United States.
  • We are the national pharmacy association representing the professional and proprietary interests of independent community pharmacists and will vigorously promote and defend those interests.
  • We are committed to high-quality pharmacist care and to restoring, maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of the public we serve.
  • We believe in the inherent virtues of the American free enterprise system and will do all we can to ensure the ability of independent community pharmacists to compete in a free and fair marketplace.
  • We value the right to petition the appropriate legislative and regulatory bodies to serve the needs of those we represent.

We will utilize our resources to achieve these ends in an ethical and socially responsible manner.

Interested in learning more about NCPA’s Ownership Academy?

The NCPA Ownership Academy is a “go-to” resource for NCPA members in all phases of community ownership — from exploring the community pharmacy path as a student to tools assisting in pharmacy purchase, enhancing practice and profitability as an owner, and transitioning out of ownership into retirement. Learn more.

Want to learn more about independent pharmacy franchises?

Health Mart, the industry’s fastest-growing network of independent pharmacies, unifies leading independents under a common brand to provide the collective strength of a chain, while still enabling franchisees to maintain their independence. Find out more about becoming a Health Mart.

Get more information on the fastest-growing franchise for independent pharmacy owners. Visit

Need help getting your managed care contracts set up?

AccessHealth’s suite of managed care services includes expert third-party contracting including the majority of Medicare Part D plans nationwide; a competitive portfolio of long-term care plans and numerous closed networks; and money management tools such as consolidated reimbursement, electronic funds transfer (five days a week), online claim reports and reconciliation assistance.

Interested in automation management for your independent pharmacy?

McKesson Pharmacy Systems (MPS) is a leading supplier of integrated pharmacy management systems and services. Our customer service, innovative products, quality management, and effective design and development can assist in your success.

Parata’s powerful pharmacy automation technology improves dispensing safety and productivity.

Need help streamlining your front-end and pharmacy processes?

McKesson Pharmacy Systems’ Point of Sale (POS) system is a Windows-based open platform solution that integrates with many pharmacy systems and peripheral hardware, including electronic signature capture devices.

Seeking job opportunities with independent pharmacies?

Pharmacist E-link is one of the web’s most respected sources of information for pharmacists. Get the facts about current job openings and post your resume to reach independent pharmacy owners seeking to fill open positions.