What Are the Benefits of Running My Own Pharmacy?

What are the benefits of running my own pharmacy?

Running your own pharmacy does little to interfere with your day to day (what many physicians initially thing), and in fact will add value to your patients’ direct care membership. Atlas.md has taken steps to make prescribing and dispensing medications as intuitive as possible. The process requires little detailed outside interaction from you aside from the actual act of prescribing and dispensing.

The Details

The overwhelming majority of states allow the dispensing of controlled substances internally. Most states don’t even require any extra paperwork for this process. Yes, there are the occasional licensing fees, but they’re usually small; in the range of 20-50 per year. This isn’t going to break the bank!

After much research, trial and error, we physicians at Atlas MD realized that selling wholesale and direct is our most profitable option. It boils down to this: throwing in a middle man adds cost, which is typically picked up by the patient. In selling the prescriptions directly to the patient, we eliminate that extra cost, and add benefit to the patient’s membership.

Meeting Regulations

Most state regulations require:

  • That the physician completely understand the medication
  • That we track lot #, expiration date, and manufacturers
  • That the logo be printed, and the information for dispension be on the Rx label.

Atlas.md does all of the above for you, so there’s no extra work on your part as a physician!

With the way the pharmacy is set up, some clinics are able to handle between 40-60 prescriptions per day, without any extra steps.

We’ve Come a Long Way

Back in the day, direct care physicians used separate inventory and dispensing software that typically ran on antiquated browsers. They also printed labels on an office printer, which proved most ineffective – they wouldn’t even stick to the bottle! Those labels would also be worn away from the wear and tear of daily mobility. The process has evolved to printing labels on Dymo – this method is quite wear resistant and durable. You can also check with your medication supplier to provide bottles in the sizes you need. (Click here for information on Dymo label sizes.)

Value, Value, Value

You’re providing a value your patients would normally have to go somewhere else for. You’re saving them time not having to run all over town picking up prescriptions, while at the same time reminding them of the value of their membership. It also reinforces how valuable you are to them. As an added benefit, each time you refill their prescription, it’s a chance to touch base with them and see how things are going with their particular condition. Doing so lends to the natural and personable nature of your successful direct care practice.

Running your own pharmacy also allows you to be tuned in to your patients more than you might otherwise be when using an external pharmacy. For example, if your patient makes a one-month anti-depressant prescription stretch out to two months, you’ll know something’s going on there. AIs their condition improving? Are they taking the correct dosage? Alternatively, if you sent a prescription to a pharmacy, you might never know if the patient actually picked it up or not. With Atlas.md’s process, you have greater visibility to those elements, allowing you to provide better over all patient care.

The Bigger Picture

Even the other aspects of running an in-house pharmacy can be simplified if you know what you’re doing. For example, investing in a pill counter ($2,500). It can count 180 pills in 20 seconds! This is a seamless addition to your direct primary care practice. A small investment that will save you time, gain you efficiency and accuracy in the long run.

Running an in-house pharmacy has proven to be a huge benefit (almost a necessity!) for running a successful direct primary care practice. If you have additional questions on how to integrate the pharmacy into your direct care practice, we’d love to help. Shoot us an email at hello@atlas.md.

Still stuck? Shoot us an email and we'll do our best to help.