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How Subscription Models are Revolutionizing Retail Pharmacy 

Subscription models are revolutionizing retail pharmacies by tackling challenges like compliance, tech integration, patient engagement, pricing, and competition. They enhance patient compliance with regular refills and reminders, offer personalized medical solutions, and ensure predictable revenue streams.

Benefits include increased customer loyalty, fewer supply issues, automated inventory management, and streamlined billing and workflow processes. As more pharmacies adopt these models, they achieve scalable growth and improved patient experiences, positioning themselves at the forefront of healthcare evolution.

One of the most notable sectors that subscription models have transformed is the retail pharmacy sector.  

And it’s changing everything from healthcare delivery mechanisms to patient experience to the actual health of patients.  

In this article, we’ll have a look at challenges the retail pharmacy industry faces, what this revolution looks like, why it’s needed, and the benefits that the subscription model brings to the retail pharmacy, and delve into the evolution of subscription models in retail pharmacy.

Common Challenges for the Traditional Retail Pharmacy  

The traditional retail pharmacy industry is packed with challenges that can be difficult to overcome. Here are some of the most common:  

  • Compliance: Regulations can vary and be complex, especially across regions and long periods of time. Whether it’s healthcare data privacy, reliable billing practices and audits, or anything else regulation-related, there’s no room for error. Compliance has to be ensured, which takes up a lot of resources and puts money and reputation at risk.   
  • Tech and data integration: Legacy pharmacy systems (both digital and analogue) can be difficult if not impossible to consolidate. That means either an incredibly expensive Frankenstein strategy that risks lost data or missed information, or skyrocketing labour costs so things are manually tracked.   
  • Educating and engaging patients: It can be very challenging and resource-intensive to get patients on board with medication plans and membership services in a way that suits each of them and their circumstances.  
  • The best pricing possible: Pharmaceutical pricing is always a sticky situation – price gouging, patents, generics, supply vs. demand, and insurance co-pays keep everything in a state of flux. It’s very difficult to remain competitive and profitable while keeping track of customer pricing expectations. And one big mistake and the customer can go elsewhere.  
  • Competition: Pharmacies have to do what they can to differentiate and standout from the competition.   

Each of these problems has the potential to do some real damage to a retail pharmacy.  

Fortunately, the subscription model offers some solid solutions to these problems.  

The Rise of Subscription Models in Retail Pharmacy 

There’s no doubt that switching to a subscription model (or as it’s also known, the membership or value-based model) does take some time. It also changes how operations are done in a business.  

But industries soon discover its value once they make the switch because subscriptions bring so many benefits. 

What can subscription models bring to the retail pharmacy sector? 

  1. Better patient compliance: Life is complicated and patients are human. They can forget to take their medicine or simply lose track. And pharmacies can run out of medicine, causing delays. But with subscription models, they get regular refills and reminders. In fact, a study published in Science Direct found that prescriptions drive adherence by increasing proportion of days covered” rates above 90%. The more patients comply with their healthcare plans, the more likely they are to have better health outcomes, and cut healthcare costs.    
  2. Medical personalization: The right subscription solutions use AI-driven data analytics to predict and analyse health trends, viruses and diseases, and personal health history and circumstances to create targeted interventions that meet needs and preferences.   
  3. Predictable revenue streams: As businesses who use the subscription model in any industry discover, subscriptions give retail pharmacies a predictable revenue stream that can lead to more impactful stability and financial planning.  

As of last year, subscription-based companies surveyed have experienced 3.7x faster growth rates when compared to the S&P 500 over the past 11 years.

– Subscription Economy Index

  1. Improved customer loyalty: When customers get convenience and ongoing support (especially for something so important as health), customers are far more likely to stay. Research from Harvard Business Review indicates that loyal customers are more likely to recommend a pharmacy to others and contribute significantly to long-term profitability. 
  2. Fewer supply problems: Sometimes there are unavoidable pharmaceutical shortages- that can’t be helped. But with a subscription model, a retail pharmacy will know exactly what’s needed next week, next month, etc. And with the right solution, it will be able to accommodate lots of changes.  

With these benefits, it’s no wonder that retail pharmacies are switching to or at least investigating what subscription models have to offer them.  

The best part? These benefits are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more. 

The Full Picture: Everything Subscriptions Can Bring a Business 

Everyone loves a bonus, even if it’s just something little.  

But a subscription model brings a retail pharmacy so much more, in the same solution.  

  • Automated Pharmaceutical Inventory Management: The right solution takes care of inventory automatically – tracking, ordering, and replenishment is optimized so that wastage is minimized, expenses cut, and orders are on time. 
  • End-to-End Workflow Automation: The pharmacy is busy enough without time being wasted on repetitive tasks like prescription processing, prepping for prescription filling each day, and billing and insurance documents. This cuts down on errors and frees up the pharmacists’ time to focus on important things like patient care and customer service.  
  • Billing: The bane of every business’s existence can finally be eliminated. Subscription management software consolidates everything involved in a billing plan including invoicing, claim submission, reconciliation with insurance providers, and payments. 
  • Financials: Everything from reconciliation to reporting and analytics gives accurate financial processes, metrics, revenue trends, and future-focused strategies including cost-savings and how to beat out competition. 
  • Patient Experience: The right solution gives a retail pharmacy a reliable automated (and personalized) set of communication features. Everything from emails, SMS notifications, and even in-app messaging can keep patients informed about their medication schedules, any appointments, changes, and even health tips.   
  • Compliance: It keeps track of current compliance issues, and tracks changes.  
  • Scalability: It makes the customer base completely scalable without any additional resources. Retail pharmacies are free to expand their base as much as they want and still keep everything doable.  

Subscriptions: A Prescription for a Better Pharmacy Experience

Retail pharmacies need to be able to run in optimal conditions because there’s too much riding on it.  

When stakes are high, it’s important to use a model that brings benefits that solve the problems faced by the pharmacy industry. And their patients.  

As time, the revolution will continue and more pharmacy companies will position themselves at the forefront of healthcare evolution.  

Tempted by a subscription model? Why not reach out – we’re hear to listen to your needs and concerns.  

Ready to boost your pharmacy's revenue and customer loyalty with subscription models? Discover how we can transform your retail pharmacy business today.

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