The drug channel faces major headwinds as shoppers shift to value channels amid inflation to save money. Waning COVID-19 concerns are another drag on channel performance since retailers saw a sales boost when new variants emerged and at-home tests became available.

This IRI report looks at key emerging trends for the channel and shares recommendations for drug retailers on how to attract and keep customers in this challenging landscape.


  • The alleviation of COVID-19 has decreased channel traffic and purchases, but those now purchasing in the drug channel do so more frequently.
  • Retailers should focus on strategies for products with everyday relevance, especially in health and wellness.
  • Having a full portfolio available via e-commerce will be a key strategy for private label growth. Retailers should also consider e-commerce platforms as a way for consumers to connect with pharmacists.
  • Drug retailers should continue to leverage professional services and develop strategies to grow front-end sales to shoppers coming in for urgent care and minute clinic visits.