We have found Independent Pharmacists to be compassionate and caring individuals. So much so, that pesky issues like improving profits frequently take a back seat to the daily business of fulfilling patient needs and the ever-growing rules and regulations of the federal government on pharmacists. Over the past twenty years, the volume of the average independent pharmacy has tripled, while profits have decreased. The bottom line is profit margins in pharmacy continue to tighten. And, with the medical industry making up a good portion of the national budget, the threat of even more profit decreases loom as government searches for a way to decrease the national debt. To survive and prosper pharmacists simply must measure performance, identify needed changes, target areas of profitable growth, set goals and hold their vendors accountable.
With this in mind, one of the first and easiest things you should do is understand the billing you receive from your vendors. Make sure what you are being billed is what you agreed to in the first place. Be sure there are no miscellaneous charges that you never agreed to. And, if you find your billing too hard to comprehend, take the time to make your rep explain it to you. If they can’t or won’t take the time, maybe that’s a good indication to look for a vendor that will. We know time is precious, but making sure your billing is correct is the only way to make sure your vendor is staying accountable for the original agreement they had you sign. This goes for everything from your phone bill to your pharmacy system vendor to your wholesaler. Also, look for the smoke and mirrors in your billing. For instance, some times rebates sound good, but that is really your money in the first place, right? So, realistically, when it is returned to you in the form of a rebate, you now get to pay the taxes on it. You might be better off with just a better unit price in the beginning!