Direct dispensing aims to provide physicians and other healthcare professionals with the means to better facilitate patient care, by giving their patients a much more convenient avenue for purchasing and receiving their medication. This practice of in-house or point-of-care dispensing, if available in your state, can be one of the best ways to personally tackle the life-threatening issue of patient non-adherence.
Patient non-adherence describes a problem wherein patients do not stick to their treatment plan or medication regimen, for one reason or another. Many of the reasons that inform patient non-adherence can be partially or wholly addressed through direct dispensing. Therefore, it’s often in a patient’s best interest that their physicians have the means to address many of the concerns that contribute to patient non-adherence.
Direct Dispensing Can Save Money
A major criticism against direct dispensing would be that it does not address the biggest concern: drug costs. The rising concern of egregious drug costs has made headlines and has proven to often sit at the center of why patients fail to adhere to their medication – it’s simply too expensive to maintain their treatment regimen.
However, with the right approach and pricing, you can see to it that you’re lighter on your patient’s wallet than the alternative of seeking out their medication at the local pharmacy. Not only does getting medication directly at the point-of-care save time, but it can save money, both in the form of transport to a pharmacy as well as the cost of the medication itself.
While there are cases when physicians cannot compete with prices offered by big box pharmacies – especially when those prices range from ‘free’ to mere cents per pill for plenty of generic medication. However, there are cases where physicians can better serve their patients, in an economic sense, by offering a better deal.
This depends on whom the physician relies on for their medication, as well as how patients are insured. For example, patients without insurance can often get better prices through discounted medication from physicians buying medication wholesale for direct dispensing, versus pharmacies. In most cases, the uninsured pay more. Direct dispensing may be a chance to start paying less.
While the circumstances matter here, deciding to start directly dispensing medication to your patients can often help provide them with yet another option for their medication, which can help fight back against patient non-adherence by giving patients the chance to speak with their physicians about medication costs and figure out the best approach, financially-speaking.
Direct Dispensing Saves Time
Pharmacy waiting times, queues, and travel time can all eat up an extensive portion of a patient’s schedule, taking up time better spent elsewhere, at work or with the family. Often enough, patients are made to receive their medication at a pharmacy while sick, further putting their health on the line and that of other people by queueing up in public for their medication.
The freedom to choose to skip past that entire ordeal and receive their medication from their own physician can drastically save time, as well as help many patients avoid a considerable inconvenience.
Provides Control Over Patient Education
Pharmacists are trained to go through an extensive education to understand and explain the massive variety of drugs and medications that exist today, helping patients differentiate between brand and generic drugs, explain why certain substances require a prescription and others do not despite similar therapeutic effects, and help them avoid medications that might react negatively, making use of a virtual system to help patients avoid picking up medication that impacts their current treatments.
All this can be life-saving work, but errors can be made, and some patients do not choose to receive a full and extensive education regarding their medication while in line at a crowded pharmacy. It can become difficult to concentrate on the instructions of a pharmacist when there are other people in the room, sick and in a hurry as well.
A physician has the benefit of immediately giving a patient a complete overview of how their medication is meant to function, when it should best be taken, and what considerations should be made. They can help educate the patient on potential side effects and adverse reactions that should be reported back to the doctor, and they can take the time to ensure that there are no other drugs in the patient’s regimen that lead to contraindication.
Direct Dispensing Provides Greater Privacy
Some patients are keen on ensuring that their health remains entirely private. They take their confidentiality very seriously. However, it can be hard to keep one’s health private when publicly receiving medication from a pharmacist at a crowded pharmacy. You can’t help but overhear what some people are buying while in line, and that can often be both uncomfortable and concerning.
Direct dispensing ensures perfect privacy. Patients can feel free to listen to their physician and can purchase medication without feeling the pressure to perform their business as quickly as possible, to avoid being overheard by others. Through direct dispensing, they can avoid having to accidentally make public which medication they use, if they choose not to do so.
Direct Dispensing Improves Outcomes
The bottom line for patients is that direct dispensing provides them with an option. By choosing to dispense medication at the point-of-care, you are not directly competing with pharmacies, or trying to put them out of business. You are, of course, in the business of treating and caring for patients, within the frame of your specialty/clinic.
Opting to begin direct dispensing gives your patients another option when considering where to purchase their medication – and depending on your own pricing, you can often help patients find a better deal through you, saving them both time and money, and helping them stick to their treatment by making it financially feasible to begin with.
By reducing patient non-adherence and making it much more convenient to get treated, you are saving patient lives, improving patient outcomes.
ProficientRx helps physicians and other healthcare professionals set their practices up for direct dispensing by working with them to provide a variety of brand and generic medication, from OTC to prescription meds, alongside other medical products.
ProficientRx also helps practices and clinics setup their direct dispensing system through an easy-to-use web-based service that helps them keep track of inventory and sales, patient information, and ensure that they stay on top of their patient’s treatment plans and keep them informed and healthy. Utilizing ProficientRx to begin directly dispensing at the point-of-care helps patients and healthcare professionals alike.