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ALEXANDRIA, Va. With the release of its 2007 Chain Pharmacy Industry Profile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced that front-end merchandise is contributing significantly to the overall sales of the industry.
While prescription drugs continue to be the largest category of community pharmacy industry sales, front-end merchandise contributed a substantial portion of total sales. Traditional chain drug store sales totaled $145 billion in 2006, with front-end sales totaling nearly $42 billion, or 29 percent.
OTC medications comprised 6.1 percent of front-end merchandise sales in traditional chain drug stores, as many products that were once prescription-only are now available over the counter, marking a shift from third-party payers to consumers and returning the pricing power to the retailer. This was followed by groceries/consumables at 5.2 percent, general merchandise at 4.9 percent, toiletries at 4.2 percent, non-edible consumables at 3.3 percent, packaged alcohol at 1.5 percent and vitamins/minerals at 1.2 percent.