There’s something to be said about being the first to do something new. You’re the first to invent, innovate, and bring something totally new to the table. You’re ambitious. You’re original. And if you do it right, you’re bound to see success, even after everyone else falls in line behind you.

Enter the world of QS/1 Pharmacy Management Software.

Today, there are hundreds of independent pharmacy management systems on the market, but only one gets the claim to fame for starting it all. QS/1 has been in the business for over 50 years, and it’s still serving up software solutions for independent pharmacies everywhere.

It’s safe to say, then, that QS/1 set the standard for all software systems to follow. But that doesn’t mean it’s obsolete.

If you’re looking to open your own pharmacy, or if you’re simply looking to switch systems today, you should still consider QS/1 and its flagship product, the NRx Pharmacy Management Software System.

If you’re interested in learning more about the software that started it all, here’s everything you need to know about QS/1:

What is QS/1 Pharmacy Management Software?

QS/1 has a long and rich history. It started back in 1977, when Jim Smith — a pharmacist and MIT grad — and a team of programmers designed the industry's first computerized pharmacy software system. QS/1, then known as Smith Technologies, sold its first system in 1978, and it’s been selling ever since.

For the past half a century, QS/1 has been adapting and evolving to meet the needs of community pharmacists.

That’s because QS/1 “believes in the entrepreneurial spirit and community mindedness of independent pharmacists.” With its technology, QS/1 aims to be “in lockstep with community pharmacists.”

Over the years, QS/1 has endured its fair share of changes. The most recent, and perhaps most important, is the 2020 acquisition of QS/1 by Francisco Partners. Smith Technologies became RedSail Technologies, which then established itself as an independent entity and continues to offer QS/1.

QS/1 is led by President Kevin Welch and is based in Spartanburg, NC.

QS/1 currently offers its original pharmacy management system, NRx, as well as additional interfaces, hardware, and software solutions.

Aside from technology, QS/1 also manages the QCompass Podcast, Insight Magazine, and the FoQus Docuseries.

What are the features of NRx Pharmacy Software?

QS/1’s pharmacy management software, NRx, is designed to give pharmacists more time for what matters most.

NRx offers “streamlined workflow, modern health tools, and flexible patient service.” It includes the following features and services:

Standard Features

  • Advanced Security
  • eCare Plans
  • Immunization Reporting
  • Patient Education Monographs
  • Purchase Order Tracking and Receiving
  • Customizable Labels
  • Employee Security
  • Medication Therapy Management (MTM)
  • Pharmacy at a Glance Dashboard
  • Workflow

Extra Features

Aside from its standard features, QS/1 offers several additional enhancements that set it apart from competitors. These features include:

Additional Services

Finally, in addition to its features, QS/1 offers several services to supplement its pharmacy management system. These include programs, plans, updates, and other services designed to simplify your life. QS/1 services include:

Dispensing Services

  • Adherence Programs
  • e-Prescribing
  • Eligibility Checking
  • Legal and Regulatory Programs
  • Medication History
  • Pre- and Post-Edits
  • Prescription Synchronization
  • Prior Authorization (PA)
  • Refill and Website Services

Clinical Services

  • Patient Care
  • Clinical Database Updates
  • Immunization Reporting
  • Patient Education
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Specialty Pharmacy

Financial Services

  • 340B Programs
  • Billing Services
  • Business Intelligence
  • Medicare Plans
  • Rebate Programs
  • Rebates
  • Reconciliation Services

Operational Services

Technology Services

  • Hardware Maintenance
  • HME Database Updates

To learn more about NRx and each of its features, visit here.

How much does QS/1 cost?

QS/1 doesn’t advertise one base price for the NRx Pharmacy Management Software.

That’s because prices are determined on an individual basis, depending on your pharmacy’s needs. Factors like size, services, and number of pharmacy locations all determine your final price for NRx.

If you’re looking to get a personalized price for your pharmacy, you should talk to a sales rep or request a live demo.

Both options can give you a better feel for the functions and features of QS/1, and they can give you an idea of how much you can expect to be paying.

To help you get a general idea, though, most pharmacy owners report paying at least $15,000 for their pharmacy software systems. As such, it’s important that you do your research so you can find a system that’s worth the high price tag.

Is NRx a good software system?

QS/1 may have made the original pharmacy software system, NRx, but how does it stack up in today’s market?

2,000 independent pharmacists weighed in on their software systems in a double-blind survey conducted by Direct Opinions. Their responses were recorded and compared across several categories.

Here’s how NRx compares to the 8 other top pharmacy management systems:

QS/1 ranks high in overall market share — keeping a large percentage of its original customer base — but it ranks lower in other categories, namely customer satisfaction and new store installations. This indicates that new pharmacies may be seeking out other software vendors to get up and running.

Even still, QS/1 maintains much of its customer base and continues to create new technology in changing times.

For a full explanation of the Direct Opinions survey results, visit our Compare Software page.

Who are QS/1’s competitors?

The Direct Opinions survey results show that a few other software systems top QS/1, but what are those systems? According to the results, QS/1’s top 8 competitors include:

If you’re looking to learn more about QS/1’s competitors and see how they stack up, check out our blog, What Are the Best Pharmacy Software Systems on the Market?

How can I learn more about QS/1?

If you’re interested in QS/1 and its NRx Pharmacy Management Software — or if you’re curious whether it’s the right choice for your pharmacy — take the next steps and reach out to QS/1 directly.

Q/1 offers several options to get in touch with a representative.

You can call Sales at 833.REDSAIL, submit a contact form, or request a live demo.

Before you reach out, though, make sure that you take some time to consider your pharmacy’s wants, needs, and goals. Once you’ve sorted out what you’re looking for, share that with your sales representative.

Don’t hesitate to share your needs, ask your questions, and take your time to decide which software system might be right for you.


QS/1 is the software system that started it all, and it’s still going strong today.

QS/1 has over 55 years of industry experience, expertise, and technology solutions to power independent pharmacy forward. QS/1 is picked by many independents, and it might be the right pick for you (or it might not).

Every pharmacy is different, so make sure that you do your research and weigh your options to find the right technology partner for you. It’s the biggest investment you can make for your pharmacy, so it’s not something to take lightly.

As you start your software search and see systems with new and flashy features, don’t forget to keep in mind the oldest player in the game: QS/1.