Sizing up the Wound Care Opportunity for Pharmacies
Wound care reaches a variety of DME pharmacy customers with products that generate retail and funded revenue. Best of all, the market is quickly expanding.
- By David Kopf
- Apr 01, 2020
particularly DME pharmacies,
sit in a prime position to serve a
market opportunity of substantial
scale: wound care. The
global wound care market will
expand at a compound annual
growth rate of 4.3 percent
from $33.9 billion in 2017 to $45.5 billion by 2024,
according to research from data and analytics firm GlobalData.
Also, new data from market researchers Future
Market Insights projects that the North American
market for negative pressure wound therapy
(NPWT), which is dominated by the United States,
will grow to $3.2 billion by 2029, largely due to the
growth of single-use disposable devices. (In case
you’re not familiar with the therapy, NPWT uses a
sealed bandage and a vacuum pump to draw fluid away from the wound and draw blood to the
area to promote healing.)
There are multiple patient groups that need
wound care services; a healthy mix of referral
partners; revenue sources that go beyond the
Medicare model; and some core product offerings
that DME pharmacies can knowledgeably
support. With the right level of commitment,
a pharmacy can establish itself as an expert
resource for wound care products and supplies
in its healthcare marketplace.
In terms of the product categories, key wound
care products that pharmacies serving wound
care patients should offer include (some should
sound very familiar to you): Standard dressings;
compression therapy; NPWT devices and dressings;
enteral nutrition to deliver proper nutrition
for healing; and, for larger DME pharmacies,
therapeutic support surfaces such as Group 2
In terms of funding, Medicare and private
payer insurance cover various wound care items
(with varying levels of reimbursement), but they
don’t always fund everything. Also, some patients
might want more than what is covered just for
good measure, so retailing plays a role in wound
care services, as well.
Whether the funding is public, private or cash,
the pharmacy must consider how it approaches
different segments of the wound care and which
products it offers. Understanding the nuances
in dealing with individual consumers is critical.
For example, the quality and variety of dressings
have evolved in recent years, which means the
pharmacy needs to have lots of stock of a wide
variety of offerings. And with payers wanting to
pay for lower price options, while clinicians want
to obtain higher-end items, DME pharmacies
must source products that will suit both priorities.
From a referrals perspective, there are a variety
of partners that DME pharmacies entering wound
care should target. A key referral source is wound
care centers. These centers often serve diabetic
patients, people with pressure ulcers and other
patients that need treatment. Other referral
partners include doctors and hospitals, as well as
Regardless of type, regularly educate your
referrals on the products you offer and new
innovations that are now on the market.
This article originally appeared in the DME Pharmacy April 2020 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.