So, if a pill costs you a dime and you dispense 30 of them, you should double your cost 30 x $0.10 x 2 = $6 plus $19.85 =
$25.85, but only if you intend to make a profit. Set your computer for a minimum prescription fee of $22.85 and prevent losses
through the cracks in your system.
These dispensing fees are used for pills, ointments, liquids and anything requiring labeling and professional judgment. Over-the-counter
products cannot be dispensed profitably for less than 2.6 times invoice cost. Don't forget to include shipping and taxes,
if applicable, in the base.
Some readers are laughing now because they are charging more than that, but too many are not and are subsidizing their clients
big time. Then they wonder why their practice is worth so little when they want to sell it at retirement. By then it's too late.
Pharmacy-fee overhauls literally can be made overnight (except for the prepackaged items such as 30 prednisone for $15, etc.,
which require a few months' time), but once you realize that you were charging less than your actual cost, it's not so difficult
to say this to the client who demands to know why the fee went up: "We found out that the drug was costing us more than we
were charging on it."
Or, just tell the truth: "It went up!"
Dr. Snyder, a well-known consultant, publishes Veterinary Productivity, a newsletter for practice productivity. He can be
reached at 10737 Knight Castle Drive, Charlotte NC 28277; (800) 292-7995;
; Fax: (859) 908-6986.
Historical (hysterical) note: When I first wrote about pharmacy pricing in 1980, the packaging fee was $3.50. The most prevalent office/examination
fee at that time was $8. Many veterinarians did not charge for drugs. They included it in the office visit.