The Covid-19 crisis increased the demand for better, more efficient, and more sanitary pharmacy businesses. As we continue to brace the wrath of the pandemic, pharmacy businesses, on the other hand, are facing relatively bigger challenges compared to when things were “not under the new normal.”
Many health workers, pharmacists, and their staff included reported high rates of burnout. Some need to work longer hours just to fill in for their coworker’s shift that got sick or is unable to work because of the virus. Physical exhaustion and anxiety became usual struggles for today’s front liners.
Pharmacy businesses, in particular, are facing numerous challenges during these unprecedented times. Failure to overcome these challenges can quickly prove troublesome for both pharmacy brands and their consumers.
These days, many pharmacists face more professional responsibilities. This starts with their education. With today’s laws, new pharmacists face new degree requirements, which also involve increasing years and expenses.
Another struggle many pharmacists face is the increasing aging populace. It is important to remember that the older patients get, the more medications, long-term care, and conditions last throughout their remaining years. Pharmacists are required to prepare to deal with the aging populace’s needs.
One struggle almost every pharmacist face on a daily basis is dealing with prescription pill addicts. These individuals will do virtually everything just to get their dose of addiction. Pharmacists need to be attentive enough to know if any of their customers are using false names, are getting double prescriptions, and the like.
Adhering to Sanitary Standards
Sanitary standards in pharmacy brands are strict. Since they handle medications, they are required by law to observe strict sanitation rules. During the pandemic, the need for increased sanitation became a game-changer.
If your customers are not pleased or convinced with your sanitation efforts, they can end up choosing another brand to get their prescriptions. This can then turn to decreased sales and loss of revenue. Thankfully, there are businesses committed to providing solutions to aid pharmacy brands with their sanitation issues.
For one, there are businesses offering services, construction, and maintenance depending on your cleanroom classification. Since pharmaceutical brands and pharmacies are part of cleanroom industries, it only becomes a must that your workplace is up to standards. With the help of the pros, you can ensure that your business is up to par.
Then there are sanitation processes one needs to observe to ensure the control of the spread of the virus within our business premise. Each day, consumers come and go to your physical store, buying medications and essentials they need. Showing your customers and employees your efforts in sanitation maintenance can help keep your customers and bring in more clients in the future.
Continuing Drug Shortage
Medicine shortages became apparent during the crisis. Many consumers went on buying large amounts of over-the-counter drugs meant to manage common symptoms associated with someone who has Covid-19. Some would purchase life-saving medications even if they don’t need them yet, thus contributing to today’s drug shortages.
Other usual reasons for drug shortages are:
- Voluntary recalls
- Non-compliance of manufacturers with regulatory standards
- Raw material shortages
- Natural disasters
- Manufacturer discontinuation
- Restricted distribution
- Manufacturer rationing
Pharmacies need to be prepared in case they find themselves facing another wave of drug shortage. This includes the following strategies.
- Assess available inventory and estimate how long their inventory will last
- Identify therapeutic alternatives to patient populations affected by the drug shortage
- Ask suppliers to quantify the duration of shortages
- Ask the date they can expect drug products to be available
- Check reliable sources for updates, like the Food and Drug
- Administration’s website
- Report shortages in the site if not yet listed
Increasing Drug Costs
Many drugmakers raise the price of many medicines in the midst of the crisis. Pharmacists don’t have much control over the soaring prices of medicines. But one thing they can do is to recommend generic substitution to help their patients who can’t afford branded medications.
The key is to help patients understand the differences between a generic medication and its brand counterpart. Providing information can be enough to encourage patients to use generic drugs instead. This way, their customers can still enjoy a more affordable medication even if their prescription drugs continue to increase in price.
These are but four challenges many pharmacy brands face during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pharmacists have their struggles, along with the increasing drug costs, drug shortages, and stricter sanitary standards. Knowing how to manage these issues well can be the key to increasing pharmacy revenues even during the crisis.