The vast majority of Americans are more likely to visit their local pharmacist than a primary physician, making the pharmacy a key point of care for healthcare companies and health and wellness marketers to consider.

Pursuant Health’s VP of Advertising Sales Stephanie Myers recently shared with Target Marketing why the pharmacy is a critical healthcare marketing touchpoint, including a breakdown of the four groups who are more likely to visit the pharmacy first.

From the article:

“1. The “not sick enough.” When it’s not bad enough to head to the doctor, most people head to the pharmacy. According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a whopping 81% of adults use OTC medicines as a first response to minor ailments. And this is happening several times a year. The CHPA research says U.S. consumers make 26 trips a year to purchase Over The Counter (OTC) products, but only visit doctors, on average, three times a year.

OTC products sold inside the pharmacy are easily accessible, affordable and effective for keeping most Americans on their feet so they can go to work and provide for their families.

2. The 20% of Americans living in rural areas. It’s easy to understand that the farther you live from a doctor, the less frequently you’ll visit him or her. According to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), the patient-to-primary care physician ratio in rural areas is only 39.8 physicians per 100,000 people, compared to 53.3 physicians per 100,000 in urban areas.

Access to care becomes further complicated as financial challenges threaten the existence of small town and rural hospitals. As of June 20, 2017, the NRHA estimated that one-third of rural hospitals in the U.S. had either already closed or were vulnerable to closure creating medical deserts across rural America and leaving many of our nation’s most vulnerable populations without timely access to care.

Pharmacies can also be more limited in rural areas, but access is available. According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), roughly 9-out-of-10 Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy.”

To find out who the other two groups are, read the full piece in Target Marketing here.

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