What Is an Independent Pharmacy?

Independent Pharmacy

You can find an independent pharmacy in Kennesaw, GA, and almost anywhere nationwide. In fact, as of 2010, there were over 20,000 independent pharmacies operating across the country. These pharmacies had dispensed nearly 40% of retail prescriptions total. What is an independent pharmacy, you ask? A local pharmacy is a retail pharmacy that is not owned or operated by a publicly traded company, and is not affiliated with any pharmacy chain.

Unlike pharmacy chains, a local pharmacy is private and pharmacist-owned. Their practice settings may vary from a single-store operation to an online pharmacy. In order to outperform pharmacy chains, independent pharmacy owners tend to focus on providing specialty care and projecting higher standards of customer service than their larger competitors.

For example, most independent pharmacies offer home delivery to customers, in addition to the following services:

Asthma Management Services

Asthma management services include the following:

  • Interpreting the instructions provided to the patient by their physician in their asthma management plan.
  • Teaching the patient about the different functions of asthma medications.
  • Showing the patient the correct way to use their medications and peak flow meters.


Compounded medications are medications customized by pharmacists to fit an individual patient’s needs. This is generally done to treat a specific condition, or due to the patient’s inability to take a certain medication in its original form (usually as a result of treatment they’re receiving from other health care specialists).

Independent pharmacies that provide compounded medicines are sometimes referred to as compounding pharmacies. These are so popular in Kennesaw, that an online search for a local pharmacy in Kennesaw, GA, returns over 14, 000 results.

Diabetes Self-Management Education/Training

Independent pharmacies offer screenings to patients at high-risk for diabetes, health assessments, and referrals to other medic specialists, when necessary.

They may also guide the patient through a diabetes self-management education/training program (DSME/T). DSME/T educates patients on the appropriate standards of care, including: self-monitoring and administering medication, healthy diet and exercise habits, healthy coping methods, and lifestyle changes to keep risks at bay.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

This includes medical devices like orthotics, prosthetics, and diabetes testing supplies.


Independent pharmacies provide an array of vital vaccinations and immunizations, including measles, Hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus.

Long-Term Care

Millions of seniors in assisted living facilities across the United States rely on independent pharmacies. Independent pharmacies often assist seniors with nutrition and intravenous therapy, in addition to providing prescriptions and DME.

Medicare Plan Comparisons

Many independent pharmacies extend this convenience to their customers; however, as a customer, you should be aware of potential steering. If you suspect you’re being steered, you can run your own plan comparison via the Medicare website using the same software many pharmacies use.

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

These programs are engineered to ensure that prescriptions are working to the patient’s advantage. They help your doctor asses how well your medications are working and determine any side effects and potentials interactions with other drugs you may be taking.

Tobacco Cessation

Patients can obtain smoking cessation, counseling, and recommendations for over-the-counter nicotine replacement products.

Over-the-Counter Products

Independent pharmacies tend to sell a multitude of over-the-counter products, including: antacids, cold and flu medicines, ear and eye products, and dietary supplements.


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