Can Dentists Prescribe Medication?
In-house dispensing solutions allow physicians and qualified medical personnel to dispense medication at the point of care, rather than just prescribe it. This has several distinct advantages and benefits but comes with a number of important caveats for aspiring dispensing physicians to beware.
First, the benefits. Physician dispensing allows physicians to tap into an additional source of revenue, while giving a patient a greater selection of choices. Opting to dispense medication from your office does not somehow make the pharmacy in downtown disappear.
Instead, it gives the community an additional resource for medication; one that many patients might be much more comfortable with. Opting to dispense medication at the point of care eliminates the travel time to the pharmacy, the additional wait periods and gives you and your patient an opportunity to discuss the effects and concerns of their medication ad nauseum in the comfort and privacy of your office, rather than the counter at the pharmacy.
But can all physicians opt to dispense medication? It depends – mostly on where you are registered, and where your practice is. Doctors – from dentists to anesthesiologist – are beholden to the law, specifically state law. This is where the caveats begin.
How Does a Dentist Start Dispensing Medication?
If your state limits, regulates, or even prohibits doctors from dispensing drugs, then your options as a dentist are proportionately limited. Some states only allow a limited inventory and require stringent record keeping. Some states are more open about it, allowing doctors to prescribe and sell most substances that they would otherwise be allowed to prescribe.
Dentists and doctors alike require specific licensing – if they wish to dispense medication in a state that allows it, sometimes there is an additional registration process through the state’s regional Board of Pharmacy.
You may get better prices by working with suppliers that can source the medication closer to its point of origin, negotiate better deals with pharmaceutical plants, and repackage medication to individual dosages to provide an additional value proposition to bolster sales – and slash prices. This is the role most medication dispensing partner services play – connecting the bridge between medical professionals like dentists and the pharmaceutical companies that produce the medications.
What Value Does In-House Dispensing Bring to Dentists?
In-house dispensing or physician dispensing has a number of benefits for dentists. These include:
- The addition of a great source of revenue with very little relative initial investment.
- Improved patient compliance, and medication adherence.
- Greater patient satisfaction: a metric patients sometimes hold in higher esteem than further improvements to care.
- Better clinic efficiency, meaning less time spent running after pharmacies and scheduling follow-ups with patients to check in on them regarding their medication usage, and more time spent filling and fulfilling prescriptions.
Important, too, is the impact that additional value brings to the profitability of your practice. Offering greater choices within the community can help bolster your clinic’s reputation, which means more patients, and more satisfied patients.
The Dos and Don’ts of In-House Dispensing for Dentists
Medication dispensing can be both an incredibly lucrative opportunity for your clinic, while providing immense benefits to patients via improved quality of care, greater clinic efficiency, additional choice of purchase for prescription medication – such as painkillers and antibiotics – and increased medication adherence. But there are important dos and don’ts for dentists and other physicians to beware.
- DO educate your staff on the ins and outs of medication dispensing, and make them aware of what the service means for your practice and your patients.
- DO NOT attempt to work with a medication dispensing company without thoroughly vetting their reputation and quality of service, as well as the validity of their accreditations and certifications.
- DO discuss the legal limits and requirements for in-house dispensing in your specific state.
- DO NOT forget to contact the local state Board of Pharmacy as well as your local state Dental Board.
- DO use the opportunity to provide thorough patient education while dispensing medication, as a means to reduce medication non-adherence.
Digitalizing In-House Dispensing
Proficient Rx is your premiere choice for digitalized and easy-to-use physician dispensing software solutions, offering a true top-to-bottom turnkey service, from ordering medications and managing your existing inventory of medications to printing labels, keeping track of patient information, drug formularies, and much more.
Our state-of-the-art repackaging center sources hundreds of over the counter and prescription medications and other assorted medical supplies, with a generous order cutoff period each day.
Because our software is web-based and utilizes cloud solutions, there’s no need for constant updates, installation guides, or time spent waiting for software changes and bug fixes to download and install on each of your devices. The latest version of our medication management and ordering portal is always online, and always available. Our support staff is also on-hand to answer any of your questions and help guide you and your personnel through the process of incorporating in-house dispensing in your clinic or practice.
Let’s get started today.