6 unusual pharmacy partners
Making partnerships in your community is a great way of increasing your community presence and growing your business.

The reality when looking for pharmacy partners, is that striking up relationships with any business in your community is possible. Whilst partnering with the local GP surgery goes without saying, there are other partnerships with natural two-way referrals that often go unexplored.

1. Gyms & Leisure Centres

We’ll start with perhaps the most obvious pharmacy partners of the bunch, the place where people either live or avoid…the gym.

The exact nature of the partnership may depend on what your pharmacy offers, and what type of facility you’re partnering with. For example, a relaxed spa-type leisure centre may prove a better partner for a Health Food Pharmacy or an Aesthetics specialist. More of your iron-pumping, gut-crunching, throwing tyres at punching bags gyms may refer more naturally to a pharmacy with a good range of supplements.

woman lifting weights at the gym

2. Travel Agents

Errr…do I really need to explain this one?

The unusual thing about this partnership is that it shouldn’t be unusual. Travel Agents make excellent pharmacy partners. But many pharmacists don’t bother building relationships with Travel Agents.

Sure, there’s very little chance of you being able to refer them business, but perhaps offering a discounted rate for their referrals gives them an extra value proposition to their clients.

High street travel agents might be less likely to partner (though you don’t ask, you don’t get) but self-employed Independent Travel Agents are increasingly common.

You’ll often find them on Instagram, so reach out to them and ask! Even if you get blanked, what has it cost? And what do you stand to gain? The risk/reward is so disproportionate, the only reason I can think of that more pharmacies don’t do this is that they’ve not thought of it.

So, you’re welcome.

a message on instagram reaching out to an independent travel agent to propose becoming pharmacy partners

A direct message (DM) sent on Instagram.

3. Furniture Shops

This is definitely a bit more left field, but there’s definitely scope for back and forth between a pharmacy dealing with people with posture and mobility issues and furniture shops which provide specialist furniture to support these issues.

Whether it’s a patient complaining about back pain despite being given the right treatment, or a customer purchasing a bed or a chair who complains about chronic or debilitating pain, there’s room for both parties to refer to each other for additional support.

The large furniture retailers are probably harder to contact, but if you focus on smaller, local businesses, firing them an email is again a very small output of time for the potential of a partnership.

bed with mattress

4. Personal Trainers/Yoga Instructors

Both personal trainers and Yoga Instructors work very closely with people actively taking measures to improve their health.

They also tend to have good ongoing relationships with their clients, and are trusted sources of advice.

Reaching out to these people for a referral exchange? Recommend them to patients looking to get more active, and they recommend patients to you for things like joint supports, supplements, etc. It’s an unusual partnership with a very normal business relationship.

yoga class led by instructor

5. Sports Clubs

Sports clubs are pillars in their communities, and great for bringing people together. They also help keep communities active and healthy, aligning with your goals as a pharmacy (pun intended.)

There’s a range of clubs in most communities, all of which make excellent partners for community pharmacies:

  • Tennis Clubs
  • Football Clubs
  • Athletics Clubs (including Running & Cycling Groups)
  • Rugby Clubs
  • Golf Clubs
  • Crown Green Bowls

Every one of those sports routinely sees minor injuries which don’t need a doctor or a hospital – but often need treatment. And more often than not, they go without treatment, because there is no obvious solution.

Making your local sports clubs aware of your offering and how you can provide a service to their members’ problems is simply a matter of having a conversation and, as with most partnerships, putting up some posters & leaflets around the club.

How can you refer people to sports clubs?

Perhaps you can’t refer people to the sports clubs. Unless you have a fantastic relationship with them and are encouraging more rigorous exercise, it’s likely not a natural course of conversation. But there are multiple ways of reciprocating value:

  • Supplying First Aid Kits
  • Sponsoring Their Kits
  • Offering free assessments for any sports injuries
  • Featuring their posters on your noticeboard.

There’s another set of clubs you can target, namely societies at Universities. But that is such a big opportunity, it deserves its own section.

girls playing volleyball in a sports hall

6. Universities, Societies & Student Unions

There’s a wide range of opportunities for partnerships between pharmacies and universities. It’s a partnership with a lot of potential both ways.

Firstly, in the UK at least, the wait for a university doctor is extensive. Pharmacies offering initial health consultations as an alternative could see a wave of demand from young people with disposable income.

But here are some of the other ways you could provide a value proposition to both the university and its students:

  • Sexual Health Awareness Days
  • Women’s Health Clinics
  • Travel Clinics for Gap Years, Placements & International Students
  • Sports societies for all the same reasons as Sports Clubs
  • Alternative to University Doctor

Driving students into your pharmacy comes with great cross-selling opportunities. Hangover remedies, noise-cancelling earplugs for sleeping, contraception…the list goes on, especially once you’ve talked to the person and understood what their particular needs and circumstances are.

university students

Partnerships shape businesses

One major partnership can revolutionise businesses. Where previously it made no sense to stock certain products, with the right partnerships, they could be your best sellers. It’s worth considering what you’re open to offering, as well as what you do offer when you head into these discussions with potential partners.

Finding Pharmacy Partners is easier online

Whilst meeting face-to-face is always better for building relationships, you understandably won’t have time to schedule meetings all over town.

This is where emails or social media are your friends. Especially a great social media presence.

What’s the first thing you’d do when assessing whether or not a business held any sway with its community?

Pretty much the only thing you can do to assess it. You’d check out how many followers they had, and what kind of engagement they get on their posts.

Of course, that isn’t strictly necessary. If you don’t have a great social media presence, don’t let that stop you from reaching out.

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Getting your pharmacy website discovered is the simplest way of increasing patient numbers and growing your revenue. But getting discovered on Google means having content on your website that people are searching for. So we’ve drawn up a list of the 10 Most-Googled Pharmacy Searches.

Knowing these pharmacy searches is the first step of increasing those patient numbers. Understanding what people are searching for is fruitless without creating content for it on your website. Having that content on your website takes people from searching on Google to being a prospective pharmacy patient.

If, like a lot of pharmacists, creating content is something you have neither the time nor the inclination for, join the hundreds of pharmacies already using Pharmacy Mentor’s marketing and web development services to improve their community’s access to healthcare.

What is the most searched pharmacy term on Google?

The most Googled search term relating to pharmacy is not in fact, “pharmacy,” which has 823k monthly searches.

Lateral Flow Tests, (did you just roll your eyes?!), get 1.83million monthly searches.

Do Pharmacy Google Searches change in different parts of the UK?

Yes. It’s worth stressing that this list is a national list. If you’re in a city, the results may differ. If you’re in a village, the results may differ again.

Here are the Top 10 Pharmacy searches on Google, in order:

1. Lateral Flow Test

Yes, you probably run out of them. And yes, people looking for LFT’s are probably often abrasive compared to regular customers.

But if you advertised that you had these in either your Google Business Profile or your website, there’s a lot of people discovering or visiting your pharmacy that otherwise wouldn’t have.

2&3. Pharmacy & PCR Test

As you can see in the screenshot below, PCR test and pharmacy have the same amount of average monthly searches.

It’s no wonder some of our marketing campaigns for pharmacies’ PCR Clinics generated more money than their pharmacy business.

However, you can see that within the past three months, PCR Test searches have gone down by 33%, whilst pharmacy searches are up 22%.

Google's keyword data which shows pharmacy and pcr search terms both with 823k searches each, but highlights the difference - pcr test searches are down 33% in the past 3 months whilst pharmacy is up 22%

Capitalising on these searches

Naturally, if you do offer PCR Tests as part of your business, you need it top of those Google results pages to convert these searches into business.

As far as appearing for “pharmacy”, whilst your ranking on Google Maps is important (which we’ll explore in more detail on the next point) – the best way of capitalising on the high volume of the pharmacy searches is following the best pharmacy SEO practices.

Click here for a Free SEO Health Check for Your Pharmacy Website.

(See where your website scores and loses ranking points with Google.)

4. Pharmacy Near Me

Pharmacy Near Me is Googled on average over half a million times per month in the UK.

The top results shown on Google for any searches with “near me” are always Google Maps listings.

Why? Because Google aims to be as helpful as possible, and people who’re looking for a location need a map.

So to capitalise on this search in your local community, optimise your Google Maps listing.

rank higher on google maps for pharmacies

Check out this guide for 7 Steps to Rank Your Pharmacy higher on Google Maps!

5. Morning After Pill

I’m going to gloss over the fact that drugs like paracetamol and ibuprofen have a similar search volume as the Morning After Pill. There are also has a lot of searches for “morning after pill near me”, but similar searches for paracetamol and ibuprofen are practically non-existent.

Of course, if you’re an online pharmacy, it’s important to show up for all drug queries, but for independent community pharmacies, your marketing efforts are best spent where there’s intent to buy locally.

Creating content around the Morning After Pill is not only useful for your pharmacy business, but helpful for your community.

  • Creating informative blog posts around Emergency Contraception & specifically the Morning After Pill.
  • Make sure the keyword you are optimising for is Morning After Pill, not emergency contraception. Morning After Pill gets 95k monthly searches, where emergency contraception only gets 8k.
  • Don’t create offers/promotions around Emergency Contraception. Be clear, professional, and sympathetic in your communication and your marketing.

6. STI’s & Sexual Health

If you combined all the possible STI searches, they’d amount to similar amount of searches to pharmacy. Chlamydia alone, for example, has 74k monthly searches.

So if you offer Sexual Health services in your pharmacy, it’s well worth creating content around each individual condition. Each one is a stream feeding into a river of traffic for your website.

Offer a Sexual Health Clinic but don’t have any sign of it online…?

7. Minor Ailments

Minor ailments cover such a wide range of “Asthma” has 60k monthly searches in the UK. That’s more than “Headache” at 40.5k.

Point is, if you’re creating articles on your website which give health advice for these symptoms, you harvest the traffic from your local community of people searching for relief from minor ailments, building trust with them in the process.

8. Ear Wax Removal

Google Searches for Ear Wax Removal have risen dramatically since GP’s stopped running the service on the NHS.

Searches have almost doubled from 2020 to 2022. Average monthly searches nationally are now around 90.5k.

This has mirrored the popularity of the services provided by pharmacies. Success on Googles plays a huge part in the success of those Ear Health Clinics.

a graph showing how Google Searches have risen year upon year since 2019

Google Searches for Ear Wax Removal over the past 5 years

9. Weight Loss/Management

It’s notable just how much more people search for weight loss as opposed to weight management. Weight loss receives around 60k monthly searches on average, where weight management only receives a few thousand.

Of course all the usual keyword practices apply here again. Make sure your relevant web pages feature the word Weight Loss, amongst helpful content. Anyone can have Weight Loss plastered all over their website, but Google will rank the most helpful websites at the top.

Let’s spice things up a bit and give some leftfield advice here, as sometimes the best way of beating the competition is do something no one else is doing.

A great way of being featured by Google is hosting local events, either Live in your pharmacy or online via Zoom or similar. If anyone is searching for Weight Management in your local community, and you’re promoting a meeting in their local area? Google loves that.

10. Flu Jab/Vaccine

Flu Jabs have risen dramatically since the pandemic, and Google Search reflects that rise.

Whilst the average monthly searches for Flu in 2021/22 was 22k, you can multiply that by 3 and that’s how many searches are done between late August and January. In October of 2021, there were 201k Google Searches for “Flu Jab”.

People don’t often search for Flu, but when they do…you want to be the one being found at the top of Google.

a graph showing the trends of google searches around flu vaccines

The 5 year trends show that Google searches for flu are as seasonal as the vaccinations.

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Nurokor Lifetech Logo
As healthcare heads into an increasingly digital future, NuroKor Bioelectronics is taking great pains to make pain a thing of the past. And their expansion into sports recovery and performance opens the door to a much wider market.

What is NuroKor Bioelectronics?

For those of you in pharmacy who are unfamiliar with NuroKor (I suspect an increasing minority), NuroKor is a bioelectrical technology company which works with the body’s bio-electricity. They focus on the software behind the hardware (a little bit like the pain behind the person).

Anyone can claim they’re treating someone by using a stimulation device on a body, (with varying degrees of effectiveness) but it’s the patterns and frequency of the electricity which separates an electric stimulation from bioelectrical pain treatments.

Consistently basing their developments on evidence-based research, what sets NuroKor apart is their programmes with proprietary patterns and frequencies of bioelectricity to achieve the best solution for each use.

NuroKor LifeTech, their signature line of devices, has several uses, including:

  • Pain Management
  • Sports and Injury Recovery
  • Training Performance
  • Reducing Inflammation
  • Preventing Muscular Atrophy

How does NuroKor work?

Let’s begin with the obvious. Because it works with the body’s bioelectricity, the NuroKor device sends electric impulses through the electrode patches the user attaches to the target area on their body.

Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is one of the forms of stimulation that the device uses to manage pain, which for a pharmacy is likely to be the primary purpose for patients. These impulses travel via the skin and trigger responses from the peripheral nervous system and influence the desired effect.

The device itself has 5 programmes, for different types of treatment:

  • Pain – for pain reduction
  • Pain Plus – for pain reduction and anti-inflammation
  • Recovery – for use after exercise
  • Performance – for use during exercise
  • Microcurrent – a setting with no sensation for body repair after injury or exercise

What do Nurokor’s users say?

NuroKor recently surveyed (2021) 112 of its users. The survey showed that people generally experienced reduction in severity of their pain after NuroKor use. Here are some of the key notes of the study:

  • All participants (100%) reported a decrease in pain intensity following treatment with NuroKor mibody, and
    80% responded ‘yes’ to having a reduction in frequency or duration of pain at the time of survey response. 
  • A majority (60%) of participants also decreased their use of pain relief medication following treatment
    with the device.
  • Participants gave an average NRS score of 8.1 (Standard Deviation: 1.9) when asked how beneficial they found the treatment
    with NuroKor (NRS 10 = very satisfied).

What kind of pain does it treat?

NuroKor devices manage musculoskeletal pain, so some of the popular uses are for:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Frozen Shoulder

Does that mean NuroKor replaces pain medication?

For patients living with Chronic pain, medication is often problematic.

Obviously replacing painkillers altogether is the ambition, and in some cases this is achievable.

Of course people won’t come off their medication in every case. Even NuroKor are careful with their wording on their own website…the initial aim is to reduce dependency on pain medication. But whilst it might not replace medication completely, reducing reliance on opioids, painkillers, and anti-inflammatories, as well as all the accompanying side effects, is a massive stride for healthcare.

How can pharmacists work with NuroKor?

Stocking NuroKor products just as you’d stock any product is the most basic way of incorporating NuroKor into your pharmacy.

But offering continuous pain management consultations, having live demonstrations and group Q&A sessions on Living with Chronic Pain are far more engaging options that add value to your community.

Sounds like a lot of work – will it make me money?

Even if you’re purely revenue-focused, these are prime ways of generating some excitement in your pharmacy – offering events and Live Demos are footfall-drivers. (They also help sell the product, too)

Think about the Apple Store, and how they display their products. Treat your NuroKor devices like an iPhone. Showcase it.

And of course, (if you aren’t purely revenue-focused) if you believe in the reduction of reliance on painkillers in your community as well? Then NuroKor and this way of promoting it are a match made in heaven.

What’s the future of NuroKor?

Whilst NuroKor isn’t currently mainstream, it’s emerging. Between pain management and sports and injury recovery & performance, it’s easy to envisage a future where every household has technology like this. Especially when you consider the fact they also have devices for horses and, soon, dogs.

It’s also exciting to think that NuroKor has had such positive feedback from their users, when the field of research is still relatively young compared to other medical fields.

As the research improves, so will the effectiveness of the devices. As the effectiveness of the devices improve, the reliance on painkillers decreases.

Continuous Advances could have wider ripple effects on healthcare

As advances are made, the prospective use of Bioelectronics throughout healthcare becomes more widespread. For instance, bioelectric neuromodulation’s anti-inflammatory effects are already being investigated for use with gastrointestinal purposes. This is just one example of a whole body (literally) of potential for the work around bioelectricity.

Because of NuroKor’s focus on software, it’s worth bearing in mind that developments in other areas of software. The development of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data impacts the effectiveness of NuroKor, and other similar technologies. As these other technologies develop, research becomes more reliable, clearer and catalyses the whole development process. Evolving the use and implementation of the devices with developments in technology like the metaverse is another area that NuroKor, and all digital healthcare have cause for excitement.

Reducing the Burden on the NHS

Bioelectronic devices such as those developed by NuroKor represent potentially major savings for the NHS. Not only through its preventative nature, but through the reduction in painkiller use and consultation time. (If people aren’t in pain, they don’t feel any need to contact the doctor).

Taken from an article published by NuroKor:

With this in mind, the demonstrated ability of bioelectric technology to treat non-healing ulcers, combined with existing population data has shown that, if applied at scale, NuroKor could (conservatively) save £50,000 per year per NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) in wound care alone.

With 211 CCGs, a national roll-out could, theoretically, then lead to annual savings of over £10M to the NHS in this one-use case.

Interested in learning more about Bioelectronics?

NuroKor’s CEO Rick Rowan hosts The Bioelectronics Podcast where he speaks with experts in the field on the latest news and developments within bioelectronics.

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