by Donna Boulieu for our 99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy blog series

I was recently reminiscing with another CPhT about our pharmacy days back in the late 70’s…typewriters, refill requests on a notepad, hand-written receipts/universal claim forms and the big sign that hung behind the register listing the cash prices of our fast-movers. Besides being the place to hide behind while trying to eat our lunches, it let our cash customers know that we were competitive on what was, at that time, a significant part of our business. Flash forward 35+ years to pharmacy computer/POS/automated dispensing systems, and if that sign is still hanging there it most likely posts a $4 generic list. While cash business isn’t what it used to be, those sales, along with the market basket of your cash customers, can still impact your bottom line.

Do you know what percent of your business that cash sales represent? If you’re not doing so already, add a scheduled review of your cash business to garner your share of cash sales. The following are a few suggestions to add to your checklist:prescriptions

  • Conduct annual or semi-annual reviews of your cash business to identify where your cash sales are coming from: drugs excluded from most formularies, generics that can be sold at retails lower than your customer’s copay, etc.
  • Cash-only prescriptions showing a decline in sales could be due to over-pricing your competition. Monitor your competitors’ cash retails or use Internet sites such as to ensure your cash prices are as low as they need to be but also as profitable as they can be.
  • Do you offer a low cost generic program? Monitor the offerings in your area to identify where you can compete without affecting your third party reimbursements.

With prescriptions sales up 14% in 2014, and some of those are cash in the till, it pays to invest a little time to ensure your cash retails are both competitive and profitable.


BoulieuDDonna is instrumental in the management of our master item file, item relationships, pricing strategies, fine line philosophies and FSA criteria development & implementation.  Responsibilities also include coordination information through our work flow process. In addition, Donna maintains client-specific pricing files and participates in the development and execution of many of our custom wholesaler, retailer and manufacturer projects. 


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