PioneerRx Pharmacy Software celebrated its 14th birthday on July 28, marking its near two-decade journey of Saving + Revitalizing Independent Pharmacy — and we’ve only just begun.
It all began in July 2006 when Mark Dickson, President of New Tech Computer Systems, approached Jeff Key about building a new pharmacy management system.
“I was only going to do it if the goal was to become the best pharmacy software in the country,” Jeff says.
After assembling a team of bright former students and colleagues, Jeff and the team began designing a pharmacy system that would work to empower healthcare professionals.
Two years later on July 28, 2008, PioneerRx went into its first beta location. Daily parallel testing and trial runs took place at Country Drug in Vivian, Louisiana, the first PioneerRx independent pharmacy location.
Nearly two decades later, almost 6,000 active pharmacy locations are using PioneerRx.
To say things have changed in the last 14 years would be an understatement.
Our economy was hurting. Apple released the iPhone 3G and opened what went on the become the App Store. Facebook officially had more worldwide users than MySpace. Michael Phelps won a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Barack Obama was elected to be the country’s first African-American president.
Now, electric cars are slowly becoming the norm and smartphones have the capability to access just about any piece of information with the tap of a screen.
Most importantly, however, independent pharmacy is more accessible and prominent than ever before, in no small part to PioneerRx. Innovation and the willingness to meet and even exceed sky-high goals for ourselves is what we’re all about.
PioneerRx President Jeff Key reflects on PioneerRx’s growth and its ability to achieve its lofty ambitions.
“We set goals for ourselves every year and sometimes think, ‘How in the world are we going to do this?’ and we always figure out how to do it.”
An example of his high-minded ambition can be seen in PioneerRx’s early days, when Jeff proclaimed that the PioneerRx software would be used in 1,500 independent pharmacies within five years.
Though he was met with doubt and even laughs, PioneerRx reached 1,500 pharmacies in five years and two months.
From January 2011 to October 2012 PioneerRx locations grew from 9 to 45 states using PioneerRx pharmacy software to manage their pharmacy.
Today, independent pharmacies in all 50 states utilize PioneerRx’s pharmacy software.
Jeff adds, “Being the number one pharmacy system in the country as we are today isn’t a surprise — that was by design.”
Starting out, PioneerRx’s software offered the basics of running an independent pharmacy, before check stations, fill stations, or even point-of-sale systems were developed.
Subsequent updates made the software more versatile and intuitive, exemplifying PioneerRx’s ability to adapt and thrive on change.
Within the independent pharmacy software scene, PioneerRx has worked to empower its users to deliver exceptional clinical services.
As the industry continues to evolve, so does PioneerRx. It intends to be at the forefront of adaptability and innovation.
It’s that focus on innovation and willingness to adapt that shows the industry at its best. The relationship between the patient and the pharmacy is one that’s defined by immense trust and understanding.
We understand that an independent pharmacy can only be as great as its software. However, a system is only as good as its users. PioneerRx credits its growth and innovative features to the ideas that come from listening to its users.
Director of Marketing Marsha Bivins has also been a part of PioneerRx from the beginning. As more pharmacies choose our software to operate their independent pharmacy, she enjoys being a part of the relationship we have with pharmacies across the country.
“It's our existing users that are our biggest cheerleaders,” she says. “It's been really amazing to have a hand in nurturing and watching PioneerRx grow as big as it has in the last 14 years.”
Getting to see the industry evolve and improve over the years with PioneerRx also gave Marsha career advancement opportunities in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Having this perspective lets her envision what independent pharmacies can achieve with the right software.
“I was given so many opportunities and experienced personal growth that I would not have been given anywhere else,” she says. “It has been amazing to watch us go from 20 employees to now a team of almost 400 people. What excites me about PioneerRx is that we continue to have a hand in changing the future of healthcare.”
Independent pharmacies thrive when offering services that go beyond the filling of a prescription.
A more expansive set of vaccinations, a heavier focus on specialty compounding, and other forms of clinical services are among what’s now expected of independent pharmacies.
It’s a sentiment that Jeff agrees with, reflecting on where PioneerRx may go in the near future.
“It’s all about helping pharmacies become more clinical, and develop into a healthcare destination rather than just a place to pick up prescriptions.”
In that spirit, the job to Save + Revitalize Independent Pharmacy is never finished, and we’re just getting started.