In-office dispensing can be the gateway towards greater convenience for patients, and increased revenue for clinics and healthcare providers. Through in-office dispensing, physicians and other healthcare professionals gain the ability to better track their patient’s prescriptions, help them commit to their medication regimen, and thus ensure better patient outcomes.

However, depending on the state they practice in, physicians and other professionals may face a series of hurdles before they can begin dispensing medication at the point of care. Different states require different certifications, registrations, and/or licenses.


Current State License and DEA Number

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there are clear state-based limitations on what doctors can and cannot do when it comes to prescribing and selling medication.

Some states restrict direct dispensing by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals. Other state-specific limitations also exist.

In most states, certain rules and regulations exist to limit who can utilize in-office direct dispensing. These rules can differ from state to state, with a few common regulations:

  • A DEA number that is address specific to the clinic medications will be dispensed from is mandatory to distribute scheduled drugs.
  • Valid and updated medical credentials are mandatory.
  • A state-specific license for distributing prescription drugs may be required.
  • Approval from a state Board of Pharmacy, or Medical Board may be required.


Meet State Regulations

Most medication dispensing programs are regulated at the state level. Each state has their own set of rules and guidelines to follow. Currently there are just a handful of states that do not allow physicians to fulfill medications in-office, or heavily restrict in-office dispensing, only clearing it in cases of emergency or when the nearest pharmacy is unreasonably far away.

Other states allow practitioners to prescribe medication at the point of care, if they meet all requirements. These requirements differ from state to state.

Common regulations among states include the following:

  • State-issued controlled substance dispensing license is required for those of you who wish to dispense Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled drugs.
  • Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant credentials must be updated if you plan for them to dispense medication, which is predicated on whether your state allows this to begin with.
  • In addition to meeting these regulations, states may also require you to meet with the Board of Pharmacy for approval.


Bottom Line 

To directly dispense medication, a physician must have current credentials. But after certifications and licenses, there is no overhead save for the cost of medication. Through the right partner and supplier, physicians and other healthcare professionals can begin dispensing medication as soon as possible.

Here at Proficient Rx, we supply physicians with tools to help facilitate the management and sale of prescription medication. This can help you keep track of your patients’ medication adherence and minimize the inconvenience of acquiring medication elsewhere.

Proficient Rx specializes in providing physicians and healthcare professionals with the means and the resources to dispense their own medication. Through software dedicated to keeping track of inventory, dates, and patient prescriptions, to medication prepackaged and ready for sale, Proficient Rx aims to help doctors begin point-of-care dispensing in order to improve convenience for patients and improve revenue for doctors.