4 Reasons Why Pharmacies Should Join a Buying Group and How to Choose One

Being part of a buying group can bring a multitude of benefits to pharmacies. Learn more about what they are and how to choose one that works best for you.

4 Reasons Why Pharmacies Should Join a Buying Group and How to Choose One
Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development at SureCost. Nathan is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s sales, business development and its operations. During his 25-plus years in the healthcare industry, Nathan has served in leadership roles with nationally recognized providers, including Home Nutritional Services (HNS), a Healthdyne company; CuraScript, an Express Scripts company; Kindred Pharmacy Services and PharMerica Corporation.

Pharmacies play an essential role in the healthcare system, and they face a variety of challenges every day, from managing purchasing and inventory to navigating regulatory complexities. One way that pharmacies can overcome some of these challenges is by joining a buying group and utilizing the right technology. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of joining a buying group for pharmacies.

What is a buying group?

A buying group is a network of independent pharmacies that have joined together to pool their purchasing power. By leveraging their collective buying power, buying groups are able to negotiate better prices on the products and supplies that pharmacies need to run their businesses. In addition to negotiating better prices, buying groups offer a range of other benefits to pharmacies.

Benefits of joining a buying group

Significant cost savings

One of the main benefits of joining a buying group is cost savings. As mentioned earlier, buying groups negotiate better prices on behalf of their members. This allows pharmacies to access lower prices on everything from prescription drugs to medical supplies. This cost savings can be especially important for smaller independent pharmacies, who may not have the same bargaining power as larger chains.

Wider product selections

Another benefit of joining a buying group is access to a wider range of products. By working together, pharmacies in a buying group can offer a broader range of products to their customers. This is especially important in rural areas, where access to certain products may be limited.

Access to diverse resources and better legislative support

In addition to better product selections, buying groups also offer legislative advocacy on behalf of their members, which can be more effective than an individual pharmacy lobbying on their own. Buying groups also offer pharmacies access to valuable resources and expertise. For example, many buying groups provide their members with training and educational resources, as well as marketing and advertising support. This can help pharmacies improve their operations and grow their businesses.

Being part of a growing community

Finally, buying groups can provide pharmacies with a sense of community and support. By joining a buying group, pharmacies become part of a larger network of independent pharmacies that share their values and goals. This sense of community can be especially important for independent pharmacies, who may feel isolated in their day-to-day operations.

In conclusion, joining a buying group can offer significant benefits to pharmacies. From cost savings to access to a wider range of products, being part of a buying group can help pharmacies overcome some of the toughest challenges.

How to decide which buying group to join?

When selecting a buying group, pharmacies should consider factors such as vendor discounts and pricing, new revenue channels, legislative advocacy, PBM reimbursement issues, audits, and marketing support. Buying groups may charge a Home Office fee or percentage, and pharmacies are expected to follow certain rules and guidelines as members. Rebates and other benefits may be shared with pharmacies based on their performance within the buying group.

When it comes to independent pharmacies considering which buying group to join, there are a variety of factors to consider. As mentioned, buying groups can offer benefits such as aggregating purchasing volume, legal assistance, driving cash flow and profitability through rebates and compliance packaging, and offering technology resources.

However, in order to determine which buying group is the right fit for them, independent pharmacies should do their research and have a clear understanding of what they are looking for in a buying group. They should consider factors such as transparency, commitment, and how they will be judged on their performance. Additionally, they should identify what they are lacking and what value proposition the buying group can offer to meet those needs.

While being part of a buying group can offer significant benefits, it is important to ensure that the pharmacy is optimizing their membership to get the most out of it. This includes driving compliance to the goals of the buying group, leveraging purchasing to maximize rebates, and ensuring performance is in line with the terms and conditions of vendor agreements.

It’s crucial to find the right technology that works for you

It is important to note that while technology resources are often offered by buying groups, they may not be unique to a particular group. Therefore, independent pharmacies should consider the technology resources they have access to regardless of whether or not they are part of a buying group.

Overall, independent pharmacies should approach the decision of which buying group to join with careful consideration and a clear understanding of their needs and priorities. By doing so, they can ensure that they are making the most of their membership and taking advantage of all the benefits a buying group can offer.

The Value of SureCost

If you’re working with a buying group, SureCost enhances what you already have in place. It gives pharmacies more purchasing options, more insights into that relationship, and more oversight of that wholesaler. SureCost integrates with your entire vendor portfolio—to give you visibility, accountability and insight.

If you're interested in learning how SureCost can help you navigate the challenges your pharmacy is facing and identify more profit opportunities so you can save more, stay compliant and work smarter, book a meeting today with one of our experts.


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