“The dispensary must matter to everyone in the practice, if it is to maximise its success as a business.” That was the message from Caroline Pond, operations director, Medacy, in her presentation to the PSUK North conference.
Looking at dispensing profitability, she challenged clinicians to view their prescribing in line with dispensary profitability. She challenged delegates: “When did you last review your prescribing in line with current deals?”
She urged practices to take a holistic view of profitability, and to look at all areas negatively affecting profitability. Good practice includes:
- Sign up to all manufacturer discount schemes
- Think about a PI for products with little or no discount
- Use an agency to dispense appliances
- Engage with patients over their prescription requirements – do they actually need their medicine now? Could they be supplied with a suitable, but more profitable alternative?
- Engage with pharma to ensure item profitability exceeds clawback where possible
- Keep stock levels low – prices can go down, and rarely go up
- Value your losses.
On the latter point, she said: “If you have £2000 worth of stock in your waste medicines tote, there is no point in worrying about items that are 3p over tariff. Somebody needs to ensure that all stock is eventually prescribed.” Even if the cost of the medicine is only partly covered, for example a brand is dispensed against a generic prescription, that is better than a total loss, she said.
By maximising profitability practices will be in the best possible position to withstand future ups and downs and, with Brexit still on the agenda, she said: “Expect lots of shortages, Brexit may be a rocky time for medicines supply and prices.”
PSUK sales director Ian Redmond will be speaking at the DDA 2019 annual conference on Wednesday 9 October, 11.00-11.30.