Nearly half of your patients aren’t taking the medicines you’ve prescribed to them – as you have – creating a disconnect between their health and your efficacy as a physician.
The World Health Organization reports that, on average, around 125,000 people die every year due to wrong medicine intake or lack thereof.
While there’s no 100% solution to this problem, you can begin physician dispensing as a way to give your patients a better chance of recovery.
Physician dispensing or in-house dispensing allows you to prescribe and deliver the medicine directly to your patient – eliminating the chance that they don’t fill the prescription from a pharmacy.
Dispensing from your clinic also helps grow your practice. Many patients will love the convenience of having the doctor and pharmacy be in the same place.
1. Dispense Generic Drugs First
The insurance system is complex, to say the least. There are riders on several policies stating that certain medications may be written off while others not. To avoid falling into this administrative nightmare, dispense generic drugs first. This reduces the headache for the frontdesk and allows you to grow the practice slowly.
2. Improved Adherence to Prescriptions
While you cannot control what the patient does after they leave the clinic, by offering an in-house dispensing solution increases the likelihood of them at least taking the medicine. Whether or not they follow the instructions is a secondary factor.
3. Know the Law in Your State
New York, Utah, Texas, Massachusetts, and quite a few others prohibit the practice of dispensing drugs through your clinics. The laws are always changing, but it is important for you to keep updated – the legal trouble is not worth the hassle.
In a few states the law states that only doctors are allowed to dispense – nurses, medical practitioners, and physician assistants are prohibited from doing so.
The labeling rules also differ between states. While many allow for a doctor to dispense medicine using their medical licenses, others have additional certifications required.
Many states will also require you to explicitly state to your patient that they have the right of refusal to accept the in-house drugs.
While these seem harrowing, most are pretty easy to comply with. And the drug manufacturers will often keep you updated on the laws of your state.
But it is ultimately your responsibility as a physician to do your due diligence.
4. It’s OK to Still Prescribe
While you may have several generic drugs to fulfill in-house, you won’t always be able to dispense all drugs. Prescriptions can still be made for pharmacies.
With the right training for yourself and your staff and a good understanding of which drugs to dispense in-house, the practice of physician dispensing is a growing trend across the country. It makes the life easy for the doctor, grows the practice, and ultimately benefits the patient to adhere to your prescription.
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