NCPA Executive Update

NCPA Executive Update delivers insights on legislative, regulatory, policy, and industry developments from NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, to NCPA members and pharmacy leaders every Friday.

Your Hunt for the Haystack's Needle Is Over | NCPA Executive Update | July 8, 2016

by NCPA | Jul 08, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Doug Hoey

I did an interview with a reporter recently where I explained that for the vast majority of prescriptions the pharmacy doesn't set what to charge the patient. That's hardly a newsflash to pharmacy owners and operators. Wouldn't it be nice if pharmacies could price their products and let the beauty of supply and demand and marketplace competition kick in?

That opportunity to control your destiny still exists with OTC products. One of the challenges there, though, is how does your pharmacy find products that stand out from the competition? It isn't easy with dollar stores and chains trying to snag a little more of your front-end cash sales every day. Today, selling the same OTC products and gift items you sold 10 years ago just isn't going to cut it. Right, you might be thinking, so where do I find new products to bring in customers?

Sometimes figuring out where to begin your search is the hardest part, and that's where NCPA can help. We recently launched, a one-stop shop for new, distinctive products to sell in your community pharmacy. Pharmacy owners and front-end managers and staff can discover unique and popular items and wearables to set their store apart from the competition, and we provide a method for you to order directly from the supplier or manufacturer. There are no searches for needles in haystacks here.

Most of the products on Front-End Marketplace cannot be found in a chain store—or through your wholesaler—and we are regularly adding new items.

Looking for healthy snacks? Check out PopCorners, a healthy light popcorn chip; Truth Bar snacks loaded with probiotics; and Zollipops, a lollipop that helps keep teeth clean (seriously).

Trying to set up a pet care niche in your store? Take a look at Rosewood Pet and Healing Tree Pet products.

Seeking to tap into the growing premium skin care niche? See Healing Tree's skin care line and One Minute Manicure.

Want to make your pharmacy a health and wellness destination (and quite frankly, who doesn't)? Try a vitamin line from DaVinci Laboratories, DRYPro's waterproof body protectors, or ClearPop's earache relief.

We also have products from Snoozies footwear, Posture PT, and Franklin Eyewear.

Want to try before you buy? We have that taken care of, too—some vendors are offering free samples of their products so you can judge for yourself if it's a good fit for your pharmacy. Think of Front-End Marketplace as your front-end connection.

Each product page lists merchandising and pricing tips from NCPA's front-end guru Gabe Trahan, who draws upon his nearly 40 years of pharmacy management and front-end experience to help you better sell these products and increase foot traffic. Here's your first tip: as Gabe will tell you, the most important thing to add to your product display is a sign to make sure your customers know you are bringing in new products. (If you want to spend just a day learning Gabe's tips and advice and become a merchandising superstar, come to one of his Front-End Profit Building Seminars, sponsored by Good Neighbor Pharmacy. You can also access a library of his tips on the NCPA website.)

A healthy looking front-end will add value to the perceived operation of your pharmacy. A properly stocked (not to be confused with overstocked), well-managed front end will shine a bright and positive light on the pharmacy area—and that can lead to more conversations with patients, more prescriptions, and more opportunities to close health care gaps in your community through enhanced clinical services.

We are always looking for new products to share with you. Please send us your suggestions and comments at What's working well in your store?

Doug Hoey

P.S. - Get more front-end merchandising tips from Gabe and other experts in your inbox twice a month. Sign up for the free Profit Makers newsletter—next issue comes out tomorrow, and you can view previous editions on the NCPA website.