Find the Right Price for Your Independent Pharmacy
If you’re looking to rewrite the future of your pharmacy, look to technology. Whether you’ve been in the business for a few months, a few years, or even a few decades, you can count on technology to help kickstart your pharmacy, then keep it moving smoothly.
Technology enables you to organize your data, automate your tasks, and ultimately spend more time with your patients. In the process, it creates an avenue for better care. That’s why, now more than ever, pharmacy is becoming a tech-friendly field.
Of all the technology you can have in your pharmacy, though, one reigns supreme: your pharmacy software system.
What is Pharmacy Software?
Your pharmacy software acts as an all-in-one pharmacy management system, handling almost every aspect of your business. Rather than buying multiple pieces of technology — from a point-of-sale system to an inventory organizer to a fax machine — you can buy one.
When you buy a pharmacy software system, you can:
- Manage incoming prescriptions
- Automize dispensing
- Regulate workflow
- Order and manage inventory
- Complete reports
- Develop care plans
- Process payments and returns
With so many features (and more coming out every day), your pharmacy software system can give you the tools to do it all. But in a competitive market, the question remains: how much will the right system set you back?
What is the Cost of Pharmacy Software?
No two pharmacies are exactly alike, nor are two pharmacy software systems. There are hundreds of software vendors on the market, and they all offer hundreds of capabilities. With different capabilities, different vendors set different prices.
When calculating prices, software vendors consider the specific needs of your pharmacy. They consider can the size of your pharmacy, the number of locations you serve, and the specific tasks that you need to accomplish with your software.
That’s why most software vendors don’t advertise a specific price on their websites. Instead, they’ll ask you to request a quote or schedule a live demo.
During the demo, they’ll talk with you, learn about your pharmacy, and get to know your needs. When they can nail down those needs, they’ll give you a better idea of what your final price will be.
As you’re shopping around, though, it’s important to know that most pharmacy software systems have a one-time installation fee and an ongoing monthly cost.
For a new pharmacy, you can expect to spend between $15,000-$30,000 to cover the cost of installing your software system. You may also be asked to pay a monthly fee (usually ranging from $100-$500) to cover the cost of support and upgrades.
If your pharmacy is already up and running and you just want to replace your existing software, you can expect your costs to be a little less. Conversion costs can range from $10,000 to $30,000. However, your vendor may ask you to pay a separate fee to transfer your data to your new system.
All things considered, though, making the switch is much more simple and therefore much more affordable.
What Other Costs Should I Consider?
$15-30,000 is the base price for most software systems, but if you want to add on additional features and integrations, you can expect that price to rise. Depending on the services you offer, you’ll want to invest in a few integrations to make more out of your software system. While these integrations do come at an additional cost, they’re worth the investment — as they can free up extra time and effort.
Plus, buying integrations through your software vendor is much cheaper than buying a new piece of technology altogether.
Some integrations you may want to consider for your system include:
- Pharmacy automation
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Compounding tools
- Claims assistance tools
- Mobile apps and add-ons
In addition to internal tools, you’ll probably want to invest in a few external ones, too. To be more specific, you’ll want to invest in external hardware. Your hardware should work with your software in order to create a seamless user experience and make your life easier.
Some popular pieces of hardware you'll want to consider:
- Fax machines (unless your software vendor offers cloud fax)
- Phone systems
- iPads or tablets
- Fingerprint scanners
- Hotspots / backup ISPs
- Point-of-sale systems
For a full breakdown of all the items you’ll need, visit our blog, Software Integrations - External Hardware.
Once again, these extra items do tack on an additional cost, but if you can purchase them through your software vendor directly, you’ll save yourself time and money. And when it comes to providing better services, you need better tools.
How Can I Find the Right Price for My Pharmacy?
Pharmacy software isn’t cheap — but it’s an investment for the future of your pharmacy.
With one simple tool, you can streamline all of your pharmacy’s processes and spend more time with your patients. That’s why it’s important that you invest in the right one, even if the initial cost is high.
If you’re not sure how software vendors stack up, get input from real pharmacists just like you. Check out the results of the 2021 Direct Opinions pharmacy software surveys to find out which vendors are topping the charts in the following categories:
Then, when you’ve found a few contenders, schedule some demos to get a better feel for the software. Make sure you know the right questions to ask, then gather the information you need in order to make an informed decision.
Your pharmacy software system is the most powerful piece of technology money can buy — so make sure you’re putting your money in the right place.