There are currently so many community pharmacies that people can choose to go to, but what exactly sets one pharmacy apart from the rest?

It is important for community pharmacies to realise the significance of choosing a niche in order to meet the needs and demands of a specific group of people in the community. Being distinctive is more than just about having a modern premise and sophisticated design. It is in fact a good way to build your credibility, making your pharmacy stand out and be a reputable source for unique products and services for a particular group of consumers. Of course, this entails having adequate knowledge and expertise about what you can offer to the public.

The following are five niches that community pharmacies can choose to work on.

1. Health and Wellness

Singapore and Malaysia are among the countries with the highest level of health-conscious consumers. People are always on the lookout for health food, vitamins and supplements, energy-boosters and other additional products that support fitness.

The currently lifestyle of many people and the increasing awareness and focus on healthy living is also the reason that contributes to the popularity of this particular niche.

2. Natural products

There are many people who see natural products as a healthier alternative to most mainstream products that are commercially available today. The fact that some patients experience side effects or other adverse reactions resulting from the use of conventional medications also increases the appeal of natural products, including herbal and organic products as well as other products containing eco-friendly ingredients.

If you are keen on choosing this niche for your community pharmacy, you can start by offering professional advice in order to help consumers make well-informed decisions to purchase and use such products.

3. Medical supplies and equipment

Your community pharmacy can support patients who are going through a transition between hospital care and home health care by being a source of medical supplies and equipment for these patients.

These include items such as mobility devices, rehabilitation aid, diagnostic and other health aids. In addition, you may also consider offering medical equipment rental services as an option to patients.

4. Compounding pharmacy

Compounding pharmacy is a professional and specialised niche which focuses on custom made medications for individual patients. This is a solution for patients whose medications needs cannot be met by manufactured products that are available commercially, as they may require a combination of particular ingredients at certain dosage strengths.

Compounding pharmacy is a niche that is more popular in US and Europe compared to Asia, although it has recently started to gain popularity in this region. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth in the area of compounding pharmacy by the year 2021.

5. Value-added services

A community pharmacy can also be known for its range of value added services. For instance if a 24-hour service is not yet available in the vicinity, your community pharmacy can make a difference by offering this particular service to the community. Another service that would be useful is medication delivery service.

This would be useful to facilitate the elderly and those who are mobile-challenged. In addition, you can provide reminders via email or text, which would help patients who have to manage repeat prescriptions. Offering other unique online and mobile services would also make your community pharmacy appeal to patients.

There are different aspects that should be given proper consideration before selecting a niche. Current trends, regulations and demographics are among some of the important things that should be taken into account. In order to be a trusted and reputable community pharmacy, it is also crucial to be prepared in terms of having the resources and professional competency to offer the products and services in the niche that you choose. MIMS

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