South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday November 20, 2019
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October 2010 - Volume 7 - Issue 4

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Considering Prescription Drug Outsourcing?

In these challenging times, all Health Care Entities are looking for ways to provide their prescription medications in a more efficient and effective manner. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is outsourcing. Questions that arise when considering outsourcing include:

• What services can be outsourced?
• How can we find “good” company to use?
• What are our regulatory compliance barriers?
 
What services can be outsourced?
There are pharmacy providers all over the country that can provide everything from strip packing, blister packing and unit dosing of oral medications to full IV, TPN and chemotherapy admixture services. Make sure you visit your potential partners to see their facilities and talk in depth about their potential services.
 
How do we find a “good” company?
All these pharmacy providers are regulated by their independent State Board of Pharmacy and must be licensed and in good standing in the State they reside. In addition, in order to send their products into the State of Florida, they also must have a non-resident permit from the Florida Department of Health. The well known national pharmacy organization ASAP has released guidelines to outsourcing pharmaceutical services.(1)
 
What are our regulatory barriers?
If your business decides to use a pharmacy provider that is located outside of the State of Florida, they are still regulated by the laws and rules of the State of Florida as their product will be passing into our State. Florida has specific laws and rules that govern labeling and billing practices for pharmacy providers, specific to numerous relationships that may arise. Don’t forget that most outsourcing relationships will require a strong business associate agreement to protect your patient information and remain HIPAA complaint.
 
There are so many creative scenarios that can be set up to meet the many unique needs of all health care entities. If your company has considered outsourcing but do not know where to start, consider asking other providers who they use and how they like their pharmacy services provider, generally, a good reference is the best first step.
 
Sharon Roberts is a former State of Florida, Department of Health Inspector and pharmacist, and is now a practicing healthcare law attorney and pharmacist in Palm Beach County, FL, who specializes in healthcare and regulatory law practice with the law firm of Strawn, Monaghan & Metzger, P.A. She can be reached at (561) 278-9400 or visit www.healthandregulatorylaw.com.
 
© 2010 STRAWN, MONAGHAN & METZGER, P.A. All rights reserved. Republication with attribution is permitted.
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