What makes a cool pharmacy?

Yep, cool neon sign, great customer service, familiar faces and local charm. But what about low prices? Don’t the national chains, RiteAid/CVS/Walgreens have a lock on this? Kennedy Smith, former long-time executive director of and current consultant to the National Main Street Center, demystifies the myth:

“RiteAid/CVS/Walgreens are a different story. Independent pharmacies can actually operate more efficiently than these guys – their national association has a buying service that, by pooling their buying power, supplies them with prescription meds at lower prices than the big guys can get (the association has 5000+ members – many more outlets than any of the national chains). Many state surveys of pharmaceutical prices in the past several years has concluded that the national chains sell the 25 most commonly prescribed meds at the highest prices and the independents sell them at the lowest prices (Wal-Mart is in the middle, with a 20% price range – low prices in communities where it still has a competitor, high prices in communities where it doesn’t). The number of independent pharmacies is slowing beginning to grow again.”

Kennedy is also a CoolTown Studios associate partner.