Best practices for buying a pharmacy

Pharmacy ownership can bring you freedom and responsibility, and is rich with rewards. We are here to bring you tools and resources you need to plan for the successful acquisition of your own pharmacy.

We understand the process of buying an independent pharmacy is complex. That’s why we invite you to take advantage of our unmatched expertise to help you succeed.

RxOwnership® provides personalized, practical advice and critical information from business basics to store setup to help guide you through the process.

Steps to buying a pharmacy

Pharmacy ownership can seem daunting at first. Our team of advisors has the experience to guide you through the necessary steps to open the doors of your pharmacy. How you approach the beginning of this process will influence your success as a pharmacy owner.

Essential steps include:

Get advice

Understand the economic landscape through analysis of financial trends in the industry, evaluating your personal financial status and talking to current independent pharmacy owners. Start thinking like an entrepreneur and gain general business knowledge. View our Business basics page to get started.

Choosing to open a new pharmacy or purchase an existing pharmacy requires evaluation of a range of criteria, including:

  • Availability of existing pharmacies or physical properties that fit where you want to be
  • Financial options
  • Personal interests and goals for the future
  • Competition both in the region and from web-based or mail alternative distribution

Locate colleagues who have recently opened a new pharmacy or bought an existing one. Our ownership advisors can make suggestions, or contact your state pharmacy association or local pharmacy school for references.

Consider taking a course on pharmacy ownership, such as the NCPA Ownership Workshop, to learn from experts and talk with other pharmacists who are pursuing independent pharmacy ownership.

Develop a business plan

Your business plan and financial projections for your pharmacy can help determine your success. Use our checklist for identifying critical areas to cover.

For a sample business plan, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration site.

When you are purchasing an existing pharmacy, our ownership advisors can arrange for a profitability analysis. This will help you understand how your pharmacy’s financial performance compares with industry benchmarks, as well as provide suggestions for improving performance.

Assemble the team that will help you succeed

No successful pharmacy owner does it alone. It’s wise to align yourself with a team of trusted advisors who are familiar with small business legal and/or business processes and the pharmacy business, including:

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Financial advisors
  • Insurance agents
  • Franchise representatives

You may also check with your state pharmacy association for referrals of legal or business advisors specializing in the pharmacy business. Visit the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations to learn more.

Location, location, location

Where you do business can make all the difference in your success. Identify potential sellers or select a pharmacy location based on such factors as population demographics, local competition and the costs of doing business. Use these steps to help guide your selection process:

  1. Identify opportunities

    Identify, analyze and evaluate target locations before selecting your location. Use local real estate resources to discover available retail properties that meet your criteria.

    If you want to purchase an existing pharmacy, identify opportunities by contacting:

    • Our ownership advisors to help identify local pharmacy owners who might be interested in selling
    • Pharmacy associations, including NCPA and your state pharmacy association
    • Local pharmacy schools
    • Local pharmacists
    • Commercial real estate experts
    • Online sites listing pharmacies for sale
  2. Research potential locations

    Once a location is identified, research a pharmacy’s viability through:

    • Market and competitive analysis
    • Regional demographic surveys and projections
    • Connecting with local physicians and other healthcare providers
    • Talking with local business owners and residents

How our trusted advisors can help

Buying a pharmacy requires a team of trusted experts. You will need financial support to ensure your bottom-line issues are addressed and legal support to ensure that your long-term interests are protected. Partnering with experts who have been through the process, and know it well, is invaluable. That’s where RxOwnership® can help.

Our ownership advisors:

  • Are available to address your questions and concerns from the planning stage to after you open the doors of your pharmacy
  • Keep your conversations in absolute confidence so you can start planning well in advance of your eventual purchase
  • Provide you with resources and options that can save you time and money
  • Can assist you in finding available pharmacies that meet your specific requirements
  • Assist with identifying financing options for your new independent pharmacy

Talk to one of our ownership advisors for completely confidential answers to your specific questions.

For more valuable information, check out our Resources page.

Financing your independent pharmacy

McKesson can help you identify and evaluate financing options available to you. We have a long tradition of providing financing support to independent retail pharmacies. McKesson credit managers have experience with supporting over 7,000 independent pharmacies.

Through RxOwnership, McKesson has financed millions of dollars in loans in place with customers. We evaluate and review loan requests against industry-standard requirements. Using these time-tested standards protects both you and McKesson.