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Dr. Cohen received his BS in pharmacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and PharmD from Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy (MWU). After owning an independent pharmacy for many years he moved to the corporate sector, first as Director of Pharmacy for Dominick’s Finer Foods (a division or Safeway) and then as Senior Director, Clinical Services for Walgreens. Today Dr. Cohen is Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Advocacy, for Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. Dr. Cohen has been recognized nationally for his role in bringing patient care to the forefront of community pharmacy practice. He holds adjunct faculty positions at UIC and MWU, as well as serving on both colleges’ advisory committees. Dr. Cohen has served as Chair of the Administration Section of the American Pharmacists Association—Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management and on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Pharmacists Association.

Erna Mesic received her BS in Biology from the UIC and Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University. She has worked for Walgreens, first as a Pharmacy Technician and later moving into the corporate sector serving pharmacy services programs such as immunizations, health system transitions of care, and most recently as Manager of Retail and Pharmacy Projects.



After completing this chapter, readers should be able to

  1. Describe the evolution of merchandising in pharmacy from the beginning of the 20th century to current practices used today.

  2. Identify merchandising techniques that enhance the awareness and use of the pharmacy department as a health care destination for patients.

  3. Explain how pharmacy layout and merchandising techniques affect consumers’ senses.

  4. Identify and discuss the implications of ineffective merchandising in a pharmacy.

  5. Evaluate the impact of merchandising on the financial success of a pharmacy.


Barbara Nathan, a third-year doctor of pharmacy student, was home recently to attend a family gathering. There was much ado about Barbara’s progress in pharmacy school. Her family was asking numerous questions about school, her classes, her job, and her future. As the conversation continued, Barbara found the family involved in a discussion about the different pharmacies in town. The family had a full range of opinions that addressed everything from the pharmacies’ on-line offerings, locations, pharmacists and staff, and the store hours.

Barbara was impressed with the conversation. She had never thought much about the issues being discussed by her family. It seemed that the pharmacy where she works as an intern, Middletown South Pharmacy, is the least liked by her family. Middleton South Pharmacy is perceived to be an “old standard” in the community. It is a traditional drugstore, built on a corner in the center of town. They have limited parking, a smaller front of the store where nonprescription items are sold, a nice prescription department, and an old-fashioned soda fountain that is still a busy ...

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