The past year has cemented the pharmacist’s role as a central public health partner, and with 90 percent of people living within five miles of a community pharmacy, independent pharmacists will continue to be relied upon to deliver a growing number of services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health needs.


To deliver the high level of care their community deserves while strengthening their competitive position in a challenging and evolving market, community pharmacies need a true partner to support quality and service.

From a quality perspective, Pharmacy First has set the highest standard in the industry as the first and only PSAO to earn URAC accreditation as a Credentials Verification Organization. In doing so, Pharmacy First has demonstrated its commitment to better healthcare and supporting pharmacies in improving quality, efficiency and patient outcomes.

[Cover Story] Read More > Craig Rowland, R.Ph., owner of Pine Hill Hometown Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy located within a medical complex in rural Cato, N.Y., and a Pharmacy First member since opening in 2008.

For our member pharmacies, this speaks to their own commitment to the health of the people they serve. Collectively, over two-thirds of our members rank in the top 20 percent of pharmacies nationwide in at least one quality metric. Such rankings are a key indicator of top performance and remain an integral part of any network of independent pharmacies that aims to capitalize on its collective strength. 

Our focus on overall excellence — including process, operations and accountability — ultimately translates to clinical improvement and better patient care and outcomes. This enhanced level of quality in the business means higher-quality offerings and service for the customer. The result is improved business growth, profitability and customer loyalty — all key factors for community pharmacies to remain independent and operate as they choose while staying competitive. 

In those efforts, an effective PSAO will stand alongside their member pharmacies to serve, support and consult without taking autonomy from the pharmacy owner. This approach should include a no-pressure, wholesale-agnostic service philosophy and a deep respect for independent business values. As a true partner, Pharmacy First upholds your right to choose your wholesalers and other suppliers, rather than attempting to tie your purchasing decisions to our preferred vendors.

PSAO partnership and support will be more important than ever for community pharmacies in the coming year, as they stay on the front lines of addressing the pandemic and continue to provide services that go beyond their traditional role.

Through it all, as a true partner, Pharmacy First helps pharmacy owners ensure market-leading service and quality while also protecting patients and payers. We are committed to transparency of contracts; to fair and equitable reimbursement under the terms of those contracts; and to providing the support that independent pharmacies need for continued operational success through uncertain, rapidly changing times.

Visit to learn more about how Pharmacy First is helping community pharmacy owners ensure market-leading quality and expanded services while also supporting their independent values.