Maintaining independents’ independence

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Maintaining independents’ independence

By Sandra Levy - 02/26/2019
Eyeing baby boomers who were approaching retirement age — and pharmacy owners who wanted to sell their pharmacies for personal reasons, but with no exit strategy — was the impetus behind McKesson’s decision in 2008 to launch RxOwnership.

RxOwnership provides free and confidential consulting and resources to any independent pharmacy owner interested in buying or selling a pharmacy, as well as those who want to start a pharmacy business.
It basically is a matchmaking business, said RxOwnership vice president Chris Cella. “We started identifying people looking to sell their pharmacy,” he said. “Then we identified other individuals looking to buy pharmacies, or those looking to come into the business for the first time. We started matching them up. Can we help you get this deal done?”

RxOwnership has assisted in more than 5,000 transactions, including identifying pharmacies for sale, doing background work on the demographics of an address and helping to derive the approximate valuation of a pharmacy.

“We’ll help them with the process of license transfers, contracting, financing, pharmacy systems, and bringing them under the McKesson distribution umbrella,” Cella said. “Buying a business can be daunting, especially if it’s the first time. A lot of things that can fall through the cracks, and there are a lot of checks and balances you need to make sure are complete.”

Cella pointed out that according to the National Community Pharmacists Association, 1,000 independent pharmacies will look to change hands each year. “There is a large influx of pharmacy students who graduate who don’t have employment locked up upon their graduation,” he said “They are looking at independent pharmacy ownership as a viable opportunity.”

To that end, RxOwnership makes presentations at pharmacy schools, and it has a Women in Pharmacy mentor program.

“We’re trying to teach students that independent pharmacy ownership is a very viable option,” Cella said. “We are here to help you through the whole process. We are tackling the preservation of independent pharmacy ownership.”