South Florida Hospital News
Saturday September 26, 2020

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August 2006 - Volume 3 - Issue 2


Practitioners Take Advantage of In-office Prescription Drug Dispensing Through AADP

For many people, visiting a doctorís office and then having to travel to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled is a hassle. Things would be easier if the doctor could just fill the prescription at the office, saving the patient time and the doctorís office the inconvenience of numerous pharmacy calls verifying prescription and insurance information.

The American Association of Dispensing Practitioners, or AADP, is helping make that vision a reality. Formed three years ago, the AADP is a professional organization that helps physicians provide their patients with the convenience of in-office prescription drug dispensing.

"There are tremendous benefits for both physicians and patients who take advantage of in-office dispensing," said AADP CEO Gary Brown. "For the patient, it is much more convenient to pick up a prescription at the time of the doctorís visit. And there are fewer confidentiality issues, since they can discuss their concerns with their practitioner while in the office, instead of in a public setting like a retail drug store.

"It also helps both the patient and the physician with compliance issues, because people who receive prescriptions for medications donít always get them filled," he added. "Filling the prescription in the office ensures that patients are receiving the medications they need." Having a prescription filled in-office also eliminates doctorsí handwriting issues, which can result in pharmacists dispensing the wrong medications when they canít read a doctorís writing.

Physicians benefit from in-office dispensing as well. "Physicians are inundated with pharmacy requests to change medications based on a payorís willingness to pay for certain medications," said Brown, who adds that numerous phone calls from pharmacies tie up both phone lines and medical staff. "When a practitioner dispenses from his or her own office, they receive this payor information instantly, and can change the prescription then and there if needed."

According to Philip R. Oranburg, M.D., a participating member of AADP, the ability to dispense medications from the office is a win-win situation for doctors and patients. "My patients really appreciate the convenience of not having to go to the drugstore after visiting the office," said Dr. Oranburg, who began dispensing prescriptions six months ago. "I also like the fact that in-office dispensing enhances my relationship with my patients by giving me greater control over this facet of their care."

Doctors also appreciate the additional revenue stream this system affords. "For years, physicians were not compensated for all of the phone calls, refill requests, and management issues that come from writing prescriptions," said Brown, who estimates that doctors earn between $5.50 and $6.50 per prescription dispensed.

In order to help physicians take advantage of in-office dispensing, the AADP provides a turnkey system that includes medical storage cabinets and placement of the system, as well as the help of a staff member with a pharmaceutical background to develop the formulary. "Practitioners decide what medications to dispense, based on what they typically prescribe for their patients," said Brown.

Depending on the size of the practice, setting up the dispensing operation requires an approximately $10,000 investment, with renewal fees costing significantly less each year. In Florida, practitioners also need to add a dispensing practitionerís component to their licenses, which costs $100.

In addition to setting up the system, AADP also enrolls all third-party payors, and coordinates compliance issues, all state and federal regulations, and technical training of the office staff. "Physician dispensing has always been a good concept, but it was such a quagmire that no one could do it," said Dr. Oranburg of why physicians should consider using AADP. "This is the first time to my knowledge that someone has developed a system that is user-friendly, and also offers on-going support for practitioners.

"As a board member of AADP, Iíve been privy to what it takes to make such a system work efficiently," he added. "I donít believe that any physician has the time to set up something like this for themselves, which is why Iíd recommend AADP as the way to go."

As more physicians become aware of the advantages of dispensing in-office, Brown expects this field to continue to grow. "Iíd like to see physician dispensing in all of the states that donít have limitations, and Iíd like to see those states with limitations repeal or change those laws," said Brown. Utah is the only state that does not permit physician dispensing, with limitations on the practice in seven other states.

"There is such a benefit to patients and physicians," added Brown, who hopes to see AADP become a national company in the next five years. "This should become the primary model for patients receiving medication."

For more information, visit AADP at or call (561) 988-0545. AADP is located in Boca Raton, Florida.
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