In 44 out of 50 states, it is absolutely legal for physicians to do In House Dispensing. The other states restrict what physicians, but even in those states a physician can still dispense. Every physician has the right to dispense medicine to their patients. State and Federal law requires physicians to dispense only properly labeled and packaged drugs. we will assist you on what licensing, if any is required by your state regulatory board.
Will dispensing upset local pharmacists?
It shouldn’t. Many of the drugs that will be prescribed by you will still be filled by a pharmacist. A successful formulary typically consists of 10-15 drugs and they are mostly generic. When the need arises for something other than what is in stock, you will send the patient to the pharmacy.
Is dispensing the same as being a pharmacy?
No. Physicians may only distribute pre-packaged medicine to their patients. We recommend to physicians to typically stock only 10 to 15 of the most commonly prescribed generic medication. In reviewing the prescribing patterns the norm is usually 80% of all prescriptions come from about 20% of the total number of drugs that the physician prescribes. Remember, the formulary is the key to a successful dispensing system.
What are the start-up costs to begin dispensing?
There is no out-of-pocket cost other than the cost of drugs. In fact, in most cases, we will pay your invoices through collections received with 60 day terms.
Is dispensing time consuming?
No. Through our computerized dispensing tracking system, the entire process takes less than one minute. The medication is already pre-packaged, labeled and ready to dispense. It’s simple, easy and very profitable. In fact, many clinics report they actually save time. Inbound calls from pharmacies with questions about or confirmations of prescriptions consume office staff time. Significantly reducing these calls can save yout practice time over not dispensing. Hours can be wasted each day by calling pharmacies as well as taking pharmacy calls. It takes less than one (1) minute to dispense medication to a patient whether your staff uses the manual or computerized tracking system. It takes less than an hour to learn the manual system and anyone can master the dispensing software within a couple of hours.
Can someone else assist with dispensing?
Yes. State by state rules may vary, but the office staff generally can help in preparing and dispensing prescriptions. The involvement of the staff is completely up to you. Many offices delegate dispensing to at least two key clinic assistants, that will master your dispensing program in the first week and will work best in case one calls in sick.
So which types of practices are a good fit for dispensing?
Offices that typically prescribe acute-care or chronic pain medications. Patients are usually sick or uncomfortable and appreciate the convenience of not having to make a trip to the pharmacy. There’s also the confidentiality aspect of in-office dispensing. Medications include antibiotics, pain, discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Some of the these practices include:
Occupational Medicine / Workman’s Comp
How will dispensing help my patients?
Patient convenience is one big reason. Patients receiving medications in the physicians office and avoid traveling to the pharmacy and waiting for their prescription to be filled. Some pharmaceutical chains require up to a 45 minute wait to fill s script, so that the patient will make impulse buys. Increased compliance is another reason. 30% of all prescriptions in the US never get filled, for whatever reason. Why? Maybe your patients hate to go to the pharmacy! Every patient loves in-office dispensing. Patients will often save money by obtaining their prescription at the doctor’s office verses the pharmacy. Then there is also the confidentiality of receiving their medication at the medical office.
Where will I store the Medications?
About half of the physicians put the medications in the same place as they now keep their samples. To be compliant with FDA and DEA regulations, you’ll need a locked cabinet or drawer. If you plan on carrying controlled medication (narcotics), they must be stored behind a double lock.
So How do I start and how long does it take to set-up?
By providing us with your current medication formulary so we can price your medications with various vendors to receive the best pricing for your practice. Once this is complete, it will only take 3-5 days for the initial set up and training of staff.