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Lucrative Private Services in Community Pharmacy Businesses


Private Services in Community Pharmacy

As a community pharmacy, ensuring that you are offering a versatile and valuable range of services for your patients is hugely important, and this is something that we here at Alpharize understand better than most. In line with this thought, today, we’re looking at some of the key things you need to know about private services in community pharmacy businesses, including how to get the most from your private pharmacy service for the strength of your business.


What are Private Services in Community Pharmacy Businesses?


Before we go any further, we first need to consider what private pharmacy services are and how these differ from typical pharmacy solutions. Private pharmacy services, at their simplest, are non-NHS-funded services. As such, patients using private services in community pharmacies will usually be paying for these services out of their pocket, as opposed to having the service paid for or subsidised by the NHS.


Why Should Community Pharmacies Offer Private Pharmacy Services?


There are numerous reasons that community pharmacies should offer private pharmacy services. Keeping these in mind could help you decide whether private services might be worth integrating into your business model.


One of the most notable benefits of offering private services in community pharmacy businesses is the additional revenue these can generate. Indeed, private pharmacy services can provide a valuable source of income for the pharmacy, which can help develop a more stable and financially viable business model overall.


In addition to the financial benefits that private pharmacy services can offer for your business, it’s also worth noting that these solutions are highly practical for many people. Waiting for a GP’s appointment can often be incredibly frustrating for patients, with long waiting times making these services difficult to manage. Following this thought, offering private pharmacy services can offer a valuable option for your community, all the while supporting and taking pressure off your local GPs.


Furthermore, private services can also offer a more tailored experience based on the patient’s unique needs, further making this an important and valuable option to consider. Private pharmacy services allow patients to get the one-on-one support they need without having to reach out to a doctor directly, providing a much more personalised service compared to picking up a generic box of off-the-shelf medicines.


Lucrative Private Services in Community Pharmacy


With the benefits of private services in community pharmacies in mind, it’s clear to see that these solutions can be useful for community pharmacies to offer. But what private pharmacy services are the most lucrative for businesses to look into? Well, some of the main services you could consider for your pharmacy business include the following options. However, it’s worth noting that the number of patients requiring services may vary, so most pharmacies looking to offer private services will likely invest in several different services to support their goals.


One of the main opportunities that many community pharmacies will consider is investing in a prescribing clinic. This can also open up a wide range of new opportunities for the pharmacy, along with a range of other potential services.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


Regular Vaccinations


Vaccinations are essential to help avoid illness for many people, and fortunately, community pharmacies can potentially offer a range of different vaccines. These include meningitis, shingles, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, flu, HPV, chickenpox, and measles, among others including COVID and flu.


Pharmacy-based vaccinations are often preferred by people who don’t want to wait a potentially long time to get their vaccines for these conditions, particularly if they have reason to worry that they could come into contact with the diseases. Since waiting times for GP vaccinations can often take weeks, it’s easy to see why this can be an appealing option.


How Much Do Regular Vaccinations Cost?


The cost of regular vaccinations can vary significantly, and as a result, it is highly important to price your regular vaccinations carefully to balance affordability with profitability. Some vaccinations, such as the Meningitis ACWY vaccine, only cost around £40-50 on a private basis. However, others can be a lot more expensive; for example, the Meningitis B vaccine can cost several hundred (over several doses) to provide a full course of vaccination.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


Travel Vaccinations


While many people will obtain their vaccinations from a nurse at their local GP practice, there are plenty of pharmacies capable of providing travel vaccinations - and implementing this private service into your business could be an excellent source of revenue.


Before an individual can travel to another country, it’s not uncommon for them to need specific vaccinations. It’s also worth noting here that not all vaccinations for travel are provided free on the NHS, so many people will need to pay for these vaccines out of their pocket regardless; accordingly, encouraging people to visit their local community pharmacy for such vaccinations is relatively simple.


Some of the main vaccinations that are not provided for free on the NHS include Tuberculosis, Rabies, Meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Tick-Borne Encephalitis. Many of these can potentially be provided at your local community pharmacy, making it a practical option for individuals looking to travel.


Time-Limited Services


One of the key benefits of offering travel vaccinations as a private service, in addition to the fact that they may already be paid for services even through a GP clinic, is the time-limited nature of these vaccines. Indeed, before an individual can travel to countries requiring vaccinations, they will need to arrange the jab first; however, if they have left this to the last minute, there may not be time to wait for weeks before getting into their local GP.


Fortunately, by offering travel vaccinations privately, you can offer a vital solution for individuals who may have put off getting their vaccinations until the last minute. This can potentially mean the difference between someone being able to travel or not, so the importance of such solutions cannot be stressed highly enough.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


How Much Do Travel Vaccinations Cost?


The cost of travel vaccinations will vary depending on several different factors, including the cost of the vaccine itself. Generally speaking, most private health clinics will charge around £60-100 for each travel vaccination. Some of these vaccines may last for life, while others may need repeating after several years, so this can offer a potentially lucrative private pharmacy service accordingly.


Weight Loss Clinics


Obesity is becoming an increasing problem for many people across the UK, with over one-quarter of people being estimated as overweight. As a result, more and more people are looking for ways to support their weight loss journey. Fortunately, this is something that community pharmacies can potentially offer, making it a useful option to consider if you have been looking for a new way to support your patients with achieving (and maintaining) a healthy weight.


In addition to providing support for weight loss, it’s also possible for pharmacies to potentially provide weight loss injections. These are often highly important services for individuals who have been struggling to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.


However, it is important to consider here that weight loss injections may not necessarily work for everyone, and while they can help individuals who have been struggling to lose weight due to feelings of hunger, they often won’t be suitable for individuals who simply have an urge to overeat.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


How Much Do Weight Loss Clinics Cost?


Generally speaking, most pharmacies and clinics offering weight loss support will charge their services in one of two ways. One popular option is to charge a subscription fee per month; alternatively, some clinics may offer a total package over several months for a set rate. Either option can potentially be a lucrative option, making this a worthwhile option to consider.


Generally speaking, most clinics will charge several hundred pounds over several months; this can either be an all-in-one package payment or a subscription monthly model. These clinics offer medications such as the "glutides, " support, guidance, and nutrition help for individuals struggling to lose weight, therefore making this a useful option to consider for pharmacies looking to offer new private services.


Ear Health Services

In many cases, ear health is something that patients tend to overlook until it becomes a more significant problem; however, this shouldn’t have to be the case, and fortunately, individuals are starting to take a more proactive approach to ear and hearing health.


This offers a prime and valuable opportunity for community pharmacies looking to offer private pharmacy services. This is particularly prominent given that around 10 million people do not have access to free NHS ear wax removal following the withdrawal of many GPs from offering this service.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


How Much Do Ear Health Services Cost?


The price of ear health services can vary depending on the type of service required. This is important to keep in mind when deciding whether you could offer ear health private services in your community pharmacy, as it can help you determine whether this solution might be lucrative for your business.

Generally speaking, the cost of ear wax removal will be around £60-70 for most clinics, although a general ear health check may be cheaper. These sessions are quick to provide and as such can offer a lucrative option for pharmacies to consider investing in. In addition, providing ear health services to local patients can potentially also increase sales of ear drops and the like, providing a two-fold income increase for your pharmacy business.


Of course, we should stress here that demand for ear health services may vary depending on whether local GPs still offer ear wax removal in your area. As such, doing plenty of market research first may be useful. Nonetheless, even in areas where ear wax removal is free, delays in getting a GP appointment may encourage people to use private services instead.


Pharmacy Contraception Services


Often, when we think about contraception, we tend to think about prescription medications provided by a GP. However, this isn’t entirely true; pharmacies can potentially also offer contraception services, and these can offer a valuable opportunity for community pharmacies.


How Much Do Pharmacy Contraception Services Cost?


The cost of pharmacy contraception services varies significantly depending on the type of product that’s needed; however, this typically starts at around £10 for a single dose of emergency hormonal contraception, ranging up to several hundred pounds for abortion tablets.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy

Factors to Consider Before Offering Private Services in Community Pharmacy Settings


Thus far, we’ve looked into some of the different types of private pharmacy services your business could offer. However, to make the most of these opportunities, it’s important to select services carefully and ensure your clinic can offer a thorough solution. Accordingly, keeping the following points in mind could help you choose the most lucrative and valuable opportunities for your business.


Look Into The Local Need


One of the first things to keep in mind when choosing which private services in community pharmacy to offer is the need for such services in your local area. Indeed, the most lucrative opportunities will often be those where there is limited local competition, which can encourage more people to use your private services.


A prime example of this is with ear care services. In regions that are still well served by GP surgeries in this regard, encouraging people to come into the pharmacy for ear care may be harder, as they know they can get this support from their doctor. However, in areas where local GPs have stopped offering this as a service, the demand for ear care will be far greater, thus representing a significantly more lucrative opportunity for the pharmacy business.


Following this thought, the importance of doing your research first cannot be stressed highly enough. After all, the most lucrative private pharmacy services in one area will likely differ from the next. Furthermore, keeping this in mind can also increase the impact that your community pharmacy will have on the local community. With that being said, there is still room for pharmacies to offer services if local GP clinics provide similar solutions; while demand may be lower, this can help take pressure off of local GP clinics, making a valuable difference for your community.


Consider the Practicalities of Services


Not all community pharmacies will necessarily be equipped to provide every type of private service. In line with this thought, ensuring that your business has the necessary staff, skills, equipment, and facilities to provide different types of services is essential. This can help avoid potentially complicated and troubling situations where you’re not quite prepared for the services you’re trying to offer.


In addition, be sure to consider the costs involved with providing new services; while some services can be potentially lucrative if you are unlikely to get many orders or bookings, the costs may be greater than you bring in. This is particularly critical for medicine delivery services, where only a handful of deliveries will potentially cost more to deliver than the service brings in.



Private Services in Community Pharmacy


Identify Ways to Integrate New Services Into Your Existing Operations

In many cases, pharmacy businesses are already working at peak operation; as such, ensuring your business can take on additional work and services is highly important. Fortunately, if you have been struggling to fit additional services into your business’s existing portfolio, there are many simple ways to streamline your current work; in turn, this can help free up additional time to provide new services to your customers.


Invest in Training

Before your community pharmacy will be able to diversify into new private services, there is a high chance that you’ll need to invest in training for your staff. In addition, your pharmacy will need to complete the relevant paperwork initially to enable your teams to prescribe medications, provide vaccinations, and the like.


Final Thoughts


Community pharmacies have numerous potential sources of revenue, and utilizing as many of these as possible can help strengthen your enterprise and ensure a more reliable business plan accordingly. As such, considering investing in new private pharmacy services can be incredibly valuable, in many cases, and we strongly recommend keeping today’s tips and ideas in mind to help you find the optimal solutions for your business.

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