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Learning Objectives

  1. Define key terms used for entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.

  2. List the five skills of an innovator.

  3. Describe common methods used when planning for a new business venture.

  4. Describe the means by which one might finance a new venture or business.

  5. Define a junior partnership and describe when a pharmacist might consider this alternative financing model.

Setting the Scene

You are a community pharmacist at a busy chain pharmacy. Due to organizational restructuring and leadership turnover, your quality of work life has continued to decline. You continue to be asked to do more with less and your staff are slowly leaving for other opportunities. Patient complaints are on the rise, while your support from upper management continues to decline. However, the new pharmacy president brings an exciting new vision to the pharmacy and is looking for innovative solutions to boost profits and improve patient satisfaction. This initiative is asking for business proposals from pharmacists across the company, promising to fund the ideas with the most potential. You have several ideas you believe will work based on what you have seen from successful independent pharmacies in the area. You are presented with two options: stay at the pharmacy and help create a new business venture or “jump ship” to pursue the purchase of your own pharmacy from which you can launch your ideas.


Pharmacy is a dynamic industry and patient needs are constantly changing. Although this certainly can present feelings of uncertainty and stress, it also presents opportunity for those who have the best skills and ideas for the given moment. One hundred years ago, prior to the mass production of pharmaceuticals, industry and patient needs were centered on individual drug compounding. Fifty years later with the advent of the pharmaceutical industry, it shifted to managing drug interactions, larger manufactured inventories, and workflow. Today, in arguably the most rapidly changing time period in pharmacy, industry and patient needs center on convenience, cost, and the overall patient experience. The use of established principles of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship allow pharmacists to use their unique experience and training to provide new and improved means to deliver patient care. It is impossible to know what future models of pharmacy practice will look like, but we do know it will be led by a group of innovative pharmacists who embrace these principles—and who, with perseverance and hard work, will lead the profession into the future.


The extraction of value through the introduction of new products or services, new means of production, or new organizational systems is known as entrepreneurship.1 Value here is simply the difference between the worth of what you are offering your customers minus the cost of that offering. If the compounded medication you produce is worth $30 to a patient and your pharmacy can produce it for ...

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