The Sooner the Better: Why Pharmacies Need a Smarter Pricing System Now


Your pharmacy’s bottom line needs a smarter pricing system to keep up with a tech-smart customer. But when should you make the move?

Pharmacies face new challenges every day. But those challenges bring a ton of opportunity. In fact, there’s never been a better time to make the move to the pharmacy-transforming technology your customers are looking for.

Consumers don’t just want more technology, they demand it. In Prescryptive’s recent Independent Pharmacy Trends study, an eye-opening 91% of consumers said their pharmacy would be more likely to retain their business if it adopted technology that enhances their experience.

Pharmacy technology comes in all shapes and sizes. From digital prescriptions and mobile solutions, the right tech can energize the entire pharmacy experience. And while each solution offers a long lineup of benefits, drug pricing driven by artificial intelligence (AI) should be at the top of every pharmacist’s priority list.

The immediate impact of AI-optimized pricing

High-deductible health plans (HDHP) continue to grow in popularity. A 2023 study from Kaiser Family Foundation found enrollment in these plans has increased over the past decade, from 19% of covered workers in 2012 to 29% in 2022.

This trend is forcing cost-conscious customers to find new ways to save on their medications. Prescryptive’s study found that 31% primarily pay out of pocket for their medications and 61% of insured individuals have paid out of pocket despite having insurance.

So why AI-optimized pricing and why now? Because it can have an immediate impact on your bottom line by applying analysis and intelligence to the guesswork of drug pricing. With AI-optimized pricing, pharmacies can utilize a vendor’s cutting-edge technology to boost profitability while continuing to do what they do best: taking care of their patients.

Plus, using AI to empower pharmacists and their bottom line is an idea that’s becoming more accepted in the profession, with organizations such as NCPA working with technology companies to help pharmacists respond to today’s challenges.

I spoke to Jeff Harrell, owner of 26 pharmacy locations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, about the impact of technology, including AI pricing, on his business.

“Smarter technology not only helps us increase profitability, but it also allows us to provide the enhanced services our customers and community need,” he said. “Independent pharmacists have to do what we can to stay competitive, relevant, and customer focused. Today’s technology helps us do that. To be frank, without it, we’d be left behind.”

Technology in the pharmacy is here to stay and gaining even more traction. Your customers are comfortable with the latest tech tools and aren’t going back to old ways. Use that level of comfort to expand how you attract and serve the people walking through your pharmacy doors. The time is now, not someday. Your bottom line depends on it.

About the Author

Paige Clark, RPh, is the VP of Pharmacy Programs and Policy at Prescryptive, overseeing the company’s policy work to drive awareness, utilization, and scope of trusted independent pharmacists nationally. Prior to Prescryptive, Paige spent 11 years at Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy, driving policy initiatives for the state’s licensed pharmacists, including the prescribing of birth control and tobacco cessation services. Paige also worked as the Staff Pharmacist Consultant for the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, managing rule writing, legislative endeavors, and regional and national policy work. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at national industry conferences and a multi-award winner, including several Pharmacist of the Year recognitions.

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