Cutting Expenses: 6 Strategies for Decreasing Operational Costs in Your Pharmacy


Cutting costs to improve profits is important for all businesses. Even non-profit organizations must keep costs down to keep doing their good work. But how do business owners cut costs while delivering the best possible product to their customers and treating their employees fairly? There are at least 6 strategies for cutting costs and maintaining quality. Some companies turn to machines that automate part of their operations while others look for waste and inefficiency to eliminate.

Will Automation Help the Bottom Line?

A pharmacy owner might consider Automated Healthcare Packaging to improve profits and cut down on waste. Special machines are installed and set up to package solid oral medications. These machines are capable of selecting the correct size container based on the volume of prescription medication. Then they print and attach a label with contents and use instructions. They can also cut tablets in half and package them, saving staff time.

The smart machines are capable of accurately matching the medication to the prescription using color, shape, and size of the tablets for verification as well as the canister identification label.

Use Evidence-based Formulary Recommendations

This strategy saves money for the pharmacy and the patients. It also helps the prescribing doctors save their patients money and perhaps get better results. Computer programs and information are used to monitor commonly prescribed medications to form a preferred drug list for reference. Doctors and pharmacists meet regularly to share information on drug safety and efficacy.

Drugs meant for the same purpose can be compared to see if an expensive drug has an equivalent that is equal but less costly. The system also collects data and information on drug reactions, side effects, and dangers so the preferred drug list can be changed as needed. If a drug price increases, this system can find an equal alternative at a lesser price.

Go for volume Discounts

A pharmacy can deal directly with drug manufacturers to negotiate volume discounts. The doctors and pharmacists meet to determine a few drugs in each class to use exclusively, then order more of those to save money.

Reduce wasted, Unused Inventory

The use of automated dispensing cabinets and better-trained personnel and better oversight can save money. Getting rid of duplicate medications or low-use drugs in storage can help. Hiring an independent lab to test some medications for a more realistic, longer expiration date than the manufacturers’ list can save money. High-cost, little-used drugs can be delivered rather than stocked.

Better Monitoring of Administrative Costs

Monitoring and cutting administrative costs can help the bottom line. Some costs might be ignored, but they add up. Legal, accounting, and professional services can be renegotiated. Additional services such as snow removal, office equipment, pest control, security, and insurance can be reviewed and renegotiated. Create a budget each year for all expenses. Build and expand peer network groups to share information.

Pay attention to details like the cost of ink and toner for copy machines and the cost of packaging. It may be as simple as using the correct size of bottles, boxes, and bags to reduce waste.

Employees Matter

Train technicians and pharmacists to do more tasks and improve efficiency. Continuing education courses should be encouraged. Choose employees carefully and reward them for good reviews. An employee with the correct set of skills is the better hire. Give the pharmacy personnel the equipment and tools they need to perform at the highest level.

When all of the available cost-reducing strategies are used, a pharmacy owner can save a considerable amount of money without sacrificing service or quality of products.