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How to Buy Your Own Independent Pharmacy

3 Smiling Pharmacists
Excited to buy a pharmacy

What makes a pharmacist want to buy his or her own pharmacy? In a word, freedom. You want to practice on your own terms, and you want to do more for the health of your patients.

If you think you are not in the position to start your own pharmacy, you are not alone! We will go through a checklist to get you prepared for your next endeavor. If you follow these tips, you put yourself in the best possible position to run your pharmacy your way, the way that will bring the best outcomes for your patients.

Primary Checklist

The first step is always the hardest. Let's look at the best way to approach buying a pharmacy the right way.

1. Have a systematic way to know which pharmacies are for sale. It is almost the opposite of buying a house. Pharmacy owners aren't putting for-sale signs in their windows or on the street in front of their store. Owners don't want their patients to know, because they might transfer out prematurely. Owners also don't want their employees to know, because they might leave. Here are some suggestions on how to get started.

  • Work with a third-party vendor that maintains a proprietary database of pharmacies.

  • Check the pharmacy sales listings on a national and state pharmacy association websites.

  • Hire a pharmacy broker who specializes in pharmacy transactions.

  • Network with your peers and let them know you're in the market.

2. Assemble a team of trusted advisors. Some suggested ones are...

  • A consultant who is experienced in buying and selling independent pharmacies

  • An accountant who can help you go through financial statements and do your due diligence

  • A lawyer who can review and handle all your contracts and contract language

  • A financial advisor who can work with you to identify the best financing options

  • A pharmacy owner who can give you support and advice from their own experience

3. Secure financing. A lender may not pre-approve you for a loan, because the purchase price can vary significantly based on the size and value of the pharmacy you are looking to buy. However, a lender will want to see how much money you have to put toward a down payment. This normally is from 10 to 20+ percent of the purchase price. The more the better and the amount down will depend on the deal type and financing needs. Some options are

  • A conventional loan

  • A Small Business Administration loan

  • A loan from a pharmaceutical supplier or wholesaler

  • A personal loan from family or friends

Checklist complete, what now?

The hardest part of a journey is the first step, with that out of the way you can focus on identifying the pharmacy that is right for you!

We will give you a brief overview of what comes next. Let us know if you want us to go into more detail.

Key steps to executing a purchase:

  1. Valuation

  2. Negotiation

  3. Contracting

  4. Financing

  5. Closing

Choosing the right pharmacy to buy is a combination of art and science. Once you have assembled your team of trusted advisors they will be able to lend their expertise to the respective field.

Buying your own pharmacy doesn't have to be complicated. It will not be easy either but if you are organized and have the right team around you the path will be clearer. One of the most satisfying things is opening the door to your very own pharmacy for the first time and getting back to what you love, improving patient health in your community. GOOD LUCK!

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