One of the most popular questions we receive during the first call to our company is, “How much does your pharmacy software cost?” Although the answer to this question can be complex due to the varying needs of each pharmacy, I will do my best to explain some general guidelines.
With over 200 pharmacy management software options in the market today, choosing one can be compared to buying a car. You wouldn’t buy a car without considering what you need in a vehicle and what a prospective vehicle offers. The same should be said for your pharmacy software. You must not only understand what features your business requires, you must also research what prospective software companies offer you.
If you're not sure what you're looking for in a pharmacy software partner, you should start here.
Software packages range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the needs of your pharmacy. However, every pharmacy software purchase should include these items:
- Pharmacy management basics
- Third-party interfaces
- Pre-training curriculum
- On-site software training and installation with Go Live support.
Some items that may carry additional costs are:
- Monthly software support
- Possible interface fees
- Software modules
- Additional pharmacy services
With this in mind, let’s look at some sample price case studies.
Total Pharmacy Software Cost: $15,000 - $30,000
As a new pharmacy owner you may be overwhelmed by this price range, but you must keep in mind that you aren’t just purchasing software. You’re also investing in hardware and a partnership with your software company of choice for years to come. An average total pharmacy software package should come with:
On average a start-up pharmacy needs:
- A server
- A workstation
- A laser printer for patient education and monographs
- A barcode reader for verifying NDC numbers
- An image scanner for hardcopy scanning
- A thermal label printer
- One or more biometric fingerprint readers
However, it’s possible that a pharmacy may require several work stations and multiple barcode scanners, label printers and fingerprint readers. The amount of hardware required greatly affects the cost of the software package.
Software, Installation and Training:
When you buy a pharmacy management software package, it should also come with installation and training. Training may come in various methods, but it should be included on the quote along with the fees associated with travel for the training and installation team. Software training can make or break your pharmacy software purchase and should be taken very seriously.
Replacing Existing Pharmacy Software: $10,000 - $30,000
Replacing existing pharmacy software can be more or less expensive than starting new. An established pharmacy business must undergo a data conversion to transfer their existing data to a new system. This may require a separate fee to complete.
However, existing pharmacies may be able use the majority of their current hardware with the new software, but it must first be checked for compatibility. This is not guaranteed and should be closely reviewed as it can greatly impact your experience with your new software partner, especially during the time you have for on-site training. If you do not currently have an inventory of your current hardware, please download this free inventory sheet to record your current computers and peripherals.
Point-of-Sale Software: $10,000 and up
Whether it’s a new pharmacy or a conversion pharmacy, each will need a pharmacy point-of-sale software that’s compatible with their pharmacy management software. It’s possible to use a point-of-sale software that isn’t, but using one that is compatible greatly improves in-house workflow. A pharmacy focused point-of-sale software should include:
- Patient data management
- HIPAA signatures
- FSA card processing (dependent on chosen card processor)
- Prescription status and bin-location integration
As stated earlier, point-of-sale software is an additional cost. A basic point-of-sale software package includes a single register hardware package, the software, installation, and training. Additional registers cost extra.
Monthly Software Fees: $100 - $500
Some software may have minimal monthly fees. However, in most cases that means the software may not come with much support, clinical databases or upgrades.
The fees associated with pharmacy management software and point-of-sale software ensure that if you’re having a problem with your hardware, software, or network, you can call a support staff member to help you sort the problem out. Also, this fee ensures that when new features are integrated into the software, they are made available to you.
Third-Party Claim Transmission Fees: 5 to 20 cents per transaction
Transmission fees are the small amount charged each time a transaction is sent to the responsible insurance company. These fees are typically added to your monthly software maintenance statement along with your eScript transmissions. These fees should always be reviewed to ensure that you aren’t missing something that could surprise you on your first bill or stick with you for the duration of the partnership.
As you can probably see, there are several factors that play a role in the price of pharmacy software, and price ranges vary quite a bit based on the needs of your pharmacy. This is why it is very important to research and determine what your business requires before choosing a software partner.