Independent Pharmacy OTC Category Growth Drivers Revealed

HRG, HDMA, and CHPA release new white paper

Waukesha, Wisconsin (June 11, 2012)—Hamacher Resource Group, Inc. (HRG), the retail consumer healthcare industry’s premier marketing and research firm, has authored a white paper, “Growth Drivers: The Factors Behind Independent Pharmacy OTC Sales,” with the support of two leading trade associations, the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). Some of the noteworthy findings in “Growth Drivers” include:

  • Independent pharmacy captured a $22 million increase within four key categories from 2009 to 2010
  • Sales of treatment-focused over-the-counter (OTC) products represent a larger percentage of category sales within independent pharmacy
  • Increases in market basket can be attributed to companion product sales and category adjacencies
  • Patient access to pharmacists and their product recommendations contribute to improved OTC performance within independent pharmacy

“Growth Drivers” is a follow-up to HRG’s 2011 white paper addressing the relationships among suppliers, distributors, and independent pharmacy called “Supply Chain Collaboration:  Maximizing Health, Beauty, and Wellness Product Sales in Independent Pharmacy,” also sponsored by HDMA and CHPA. “Supply Chain Collaboration” revealed six health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) categories where sales growth in independent pharmacy outpaced chain drug in 2010, based on data exclusive to HRG. “Growth Drivers” is a more in-depth dissection of the reasons that certain categories outperformed in independent pharmacy over chain drug. “These two studies have highlighted the importance of independent pharmacies and the growth potential of OTC remedies and certain categories at these retailers. Combining disciplined merchandising tactics and strategic store layout with ongoing pharmacist education will continue to drive growth in this channel,” said HRG Vice President Dave Wendland.

Wendland will present the white paper today at HDMA’s Business & Leadership Conference during the Health, Beauty, and Wellness Products Forum in San Antonio. His presentation will include newly analyzed data from 2011 to determine whether the same categories continued to perform better within the independent pharmacy sector the following year.

“HDMA and the healthcare distribution industry are recognizing the opportunities to serve the independent pharmacy channel, and the Association has expanded its educational activities in the HBW/OTC space to help our members capitalize on them to grow their business,” said Perry Fri, HDMA senior vice president of industry relations, membership & education. “The findings in this white paper will be a valuable resource to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers as they try to navigate the continuously changing tide of the healthcare marketplace.”

“Privately-owned pharmacies are trusted providers of OTC medicines for many Americans who value the convenience and personal touch independent pharmacies offer to their customers,” commented Ted Peterson, CHPA vice president of corporate development. “This study highlights how OTC manufacturers and distributors work with independent pharmacies to continue to fulfill and empower consumers’ diverse healthcare needs.”

The “Growth Drivers” white paper is available at no charge at, and,  and on CHPA's website here. Wendland will also present the findings from the “Supply Chain” and “Growth Drivers” white papers during an upcoming webinar sponsored by HDMA and CHPA.

Contacts: Hamacher Resource Group: Amy Kasza, 414.431.5308
HDMA: John Parker, 703.885.0216
CHPA: Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260

Hamacher Resource Group, Inc. (HRG) is a research, marketing, and category management firm specializing in consumer healthcare at retail. Product manufacturers, healthcare distributors, retailers, technology partners, and other organizations rely on HRG for strategic insights and creative solutions to improve the shopping experience. Founded in 1980, HRG is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise headquartered in Greater Milwaukee. Visit for more information.

HDMA is the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers. Each business day, HDMA member companies ensure that nearly nine million prescription medicines and healthcare products are delivered safely and efficiently to nearly 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. HDMA and its members work daily to provide value and achieve cost savings, an estimated $42 billion each year to our nation’s healthcare system. For more information, visit

CHPA is the 131-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy. The association provides leadership and guidance on regulatory and scientific issues to Congress; state legislatures; and federal, state, and international government agencies. CHPA shares tools and information with partners across the globe to ensure the safe and responsible use of OTC medicines. Visit for more information.