Market dynamics of community pharmacies in Minnesota

Jon C Schommer, Reshmi L. Singh, Richard R. Cline, Ronald S Hadsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: From a pharmacist workforce perspective, an understanding of pharmacy location is important for monitoring access points for pharmacist services such as medication dispensing, medication counseling, medication therapy management, and disease management. Objective: To understand access to community pharmacies, our goal was to describe changes in pharmacy mix (independent vs chain) between 1992 and 2002 for 87 counties in Minnesota. Study objectives were to describe the association of (1) change in population density, (2) metropolitan designation, change in (3) proportion of nonwhite population, (4) proportion of elderly population, and (5) household income with change in (a) number of community pharmacies overall, (b) number of chain pharmacies, (c) number of independent pharmacies, and (d) the independent-to-total community pharmacy ratio. Methods: Records from the State of Minnesota Board of Pharmacy were used to examine changes in the community pharmacy mix from 1992 to 2002. Data on county level demographics in 1990 and 2000 were obtained from the US Census Bureau and Datanet. Chi-square analysis was used to test the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Results: As of 2002, every county in Minnesota had at least one pharmacy as was the case in 1992. The ratio of independent to chain pharmacies changed from approximately 2:1 in 1992 to approximately 1:1 in 2002. Chi-square results revealed that change in population density was significantly associated with change in the number of community pharmacies overall (P < 0.001) and with change in chain pharmacies (P = 0.03). The findings revealed an interesting u-shaped pattern for the association between population density and change in independent pharmacies. Conclusions: It appears that chain pharmacies follow changes in population density for making decisions about market entry and exit. The results suggest that some independent pharmacies might be closing due to chain competition in high population density growth areas. However, there was also evidence to suggest that population density decline may be an important determinant of independent pharmacy closures. In such environments, chain pharmacies are not likely to open new pharmacies to replace the independent pharmacy. Such a market dynamic may lead to access problems for citizens of these counties in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Pharmacist workforce
  • Pharmacy market dynamics


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