NCPA Releases 2022 Digest Report

NCPA October 2, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 2, 2022) – The 2022 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, was released today as part of the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Annual Convention. The NCPA Digest, which provides an annual overview of independent community pharmacy, found that the industry in 2021 represented 34 percent of all retail pharmacies in the United States and a $78.5 billion marketplace.

“Each independent community pharmacy is as unique as the owner who runs it, those who staff it, the building it’s in, and the area that surrounds it,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “The annual NCPA Digest helps us highlight what many of these pharmacy teams share, the services they provide, what they need to survive, and their central role in their communities. Independent pharmacies continue to represent an indispensable marketshare of pharmacies in the United States and, especially for patients in underserved communities, are essential to the health of our country.”

The 2022 NCPA Digest identifies the wide variety of services offered by independent community pharmacies in 2021: 89 percent of respondents provided flu immunizations; 80 percent offered medication therapy management; 77 percent provided non-flu immunizations; 59 percent performed blood pressure monitoring; 55 percent offered compounding; and 48 percent offered services for long-term care patients. From a philanthropic standpoint, 65 percent of all independent community pharmacy owners donated to at least five local organizations in 2021, with 56 percent of pharmacies donating more than $3,000 annually to support community organizations.

Additional highlights from the NCPA Digest covering the 2021 independent community pharmacy marketplace include:  

  • In 2021, average prescription volume was 63,228 per store. This increase from the 57,678 prescriptions dispensed in 2020 is mostly attributable to COVID-19 vaccinations, which are prescription-only products, provided by community pharmacies and a rebound from the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 that affected consumer buying habits.
  • The independent pharmacy category was essentially flat, changing 0.4 percent from 19,397 in June 2021 to 19,479 as of June 2022. Most states lost independent pharmacies from 2021-2022, as margins on prescription drugs continued to be slim due to retroactive price concessions and third-party payer and government contracts that lack transparency.
  • The year will be a distinct outlier due to revenue from administering the COVID-19 vaccine primary series and booster doses for ages 12 and up all in one year.
  • Government programs continue to grow in importance, with 54 percent of total prescriptions covered by the Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs.
  • Ninety percent of independent community pharmacy respondents identified their primary pharmacy operation as retail pharmacy. More than 4 percent identified as compounding, long-term care, or specialty.
  • Close to 80 percent of community pharmacies serve population areas of 50,000 or fewer.
  • More than 3,500 pharmacies are participating in the CPESN® USA national network of clinically integrated pharmacies. To date, over 175 national or local network contracts have been completed or activated.


Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 19,400 pharmacies that employ nearly 240,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit