6 essential roles of successful pharmacy owners

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Tools and resources to be more effective in every role

In brief:

  • As a pharmacist and small business owner, you fill multiple roles daily.
  • These roles include provider, CEO, CFO, HR, marketer and lobbyist.
  • Each role is critical to the health of patients and your business.
  • You can be more effective by leveraging tools, experts and resources.

Daily Challenges

The demands of running a successful independent pharmacy can feel overwhelming.

Source: Pharmacy Times, September 16, 2016

The Roles of a Pharmacy Owner

Being a pharmacist and owning an independent pharmacy means playing multiple roles. Each role could be a full-time job. Fortunately, there are tools and resources to help you be more efficient and effective in every role.

Role: Healthcare Provider

This is the fundamental role of a pharmacist and is why you went into the profession. As a provider, you help care for patients. Whether your state law legally recognizes you as a provider, services like immunizations and MTM make you a key player in the healthcare system.

Most patients see their doctor a few times yearly but visit their pharmacy more than 30 times annually.1

Tools: Platforms such as VaccineComplete and EQuIPP allow you to identify patients who are missing recommended immunizations or to see where you could improve adherence.

Role: CEO

As CEO, you set the strategy. A rule of business is that to be successful, you must work on your business, not just in it.

Tools & Resources: To lead your business as the CEO:

  • Manage. A dashboard view of your pharmacy from myHealthMart shows financial, clinical, operational and marketing insights to make better decisions.
  • Learn. Health Mart University helps pharmacists and techs learn and stay current. Attend Town Halls to learn about forces shaping the industry. Or, learn from peers at ideaShare about new revenue streams like point-of-care testing or supplements.
  • Grow. Whether you’re thinking about buying or building a new location, RxOwnership offers no-fee consultation. Resources cover writing a business plan, finding financing, setting up the store and more.

Role: CFO

As CFO, you provide deal with your pharmacy’s finances.

Resources: You don’t have to be an expert on contracts when you have a PSAO like Health Mart Atlas. Take advantage of resources such as marketing funds or discounts on services such as McKesson Reimbursement Advantage to capture every dollar available.

Role: Head of HR

As head of HR, you lead the people who make or break your business.

Resources: Increase your technicians’ expertise with training and online courses through Health Mart University and the Pharmacy Technician’s Letter.

Role: Marketing Director

Your focus as the marketing director is to differentiate and grow your business. Marketing your business includes everything from signs to advertisements, and meeting with doctors in your community.

Tools & Resources:

  • Design. More than 400 templates are waiting on the Online Marketing Hub.

Role: Lobbyist

You are the best and strongest advocate for your business. From the city council enacting sign ordinances to the federal government setting Medicare rules, the support of every level of government affects your ability to succeed.

Resources: By working with your state pharmacists’ association, your buying group and other organizations, you give pharmacists a stronger voice.


As the demands of owning a pharmacy pull you in multiple directions, you aren’t alone. Take advantage of tools and resources to help you in each role as you manage and grow your business.

Note: The information provided here is for reference use only and does not constitute the rendering of legal or other professional advice by McKesson. Readers should consult appropriate professionals for advice and assistance prior to making important decisions regarding their business. McKesson is not advocating any particular program or approach herein. McKesson is not responsible for, nor will it bear any liability for, the content provided herein.

1 “Pharmacists as Influencers of Patient Adherence,” Joseph Moose and Ashley Branham, Pharmacy Times, Aug.21, 2014. LINK