Many pharmacies are currently exploring the opportunity to service customers in other states to increase their market share and profits. Almost every state requires that any pharmacy that does ship or mail prescription medications into their state must possess a non-resident license issued by that state.
Non-Resident Pharmacy Licensing Requirements
Although there are numerous variations by different individual states regarding Pharmacy Non-Resident (Out-of-State) Licensing Services, most follow this pattern:
– No pharmacy that is physically located in another state may ship, mail, or otherwise deliver a prescription drug, medication or device to any patients located in a state unless the pharmacy is licensed in that state. This applies not only to retail community and specialty pharmacies, but to hospital pharmacies as well. Obviously, mail order pharmacies must also follow this rule.
– To dispense and ship prescription drugs, medications or devices into a state, the pharmacy, plus the pharmacist who is designated as the prescription department manager (PDM), must be licensed in the state that the pharmacy is shipping the medications to.
– The label of every prescription drug container that is shipped, mailed or otherwise delivered must include the telephone number of the out of state pharmacy. Most states require that the phone number must be a toll free number. Additionally, they require that the phone number must be answered at least six (6) days a week (and not for less than 40 hours in a week) and that the pharmacist must have direct access to each patient’s records.
– The pharmacy must submit a letter of licensure verification for their actual physical location and facility, as well as for the Pharmacy Manager from the state Board of Pharmacy in which the pharmacy is located. Additionally, the pharmacy must submit a copy of their most recent inspection by the state Board of Pharmacy in the state where you are physically located. Lastly, you must submit a copy of the Certificate of Status or Articles of Organization from your state for the corporation.
The Risks of Not Being in Compliance
If a pharmacy is not in compliance with the rules or regulations in a state that they are shipping medications into, then two major risks are incurred:
– If the state Board of Pharmacy becomes aware that the pharmacy is shipping into their state without the required licensing, they will notify the pharmacy’s home Board of Pharmacy to initiate a complaint.
– Many PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) and other third party prescription plan payers view shipping prescriptions into another state without the required licensing a violation of the terms of their pharmacy provider contract. In many instances they may demand repayment of all money paid for these prescriptions, perhaps going back a year or more.
The Right Way To Obtain Non-Resident (Out of State) Licensing
Don’t let the complicated process of dealing with all the rules and requirements that each state has stop you from doing business in other states (or from doing it at risk!). Many pharmacies are hesitant to apply because of their unfamiliarity with all the rules and requirements of each individual state. Sometimes when a pharmacy does attempt to submit the applications, they find themselves in a situation where the out-of-state Board of Pharmacy is requesting additional information and documents, thus delaying the issuance of their permit and delays in servicing customers in that state.
In the business of Pharmacy Consulting for over 28 years, HCC has a dedicated division of experts that deal with non-resident applications for every state. They know what each application requires and the specific rules that each state has. Plus, they know who to speak with at every Board of Pharmacy to keep track of the status of each of your applications. This results in a faster approval for your pharmacy and lessens the delays most applicants experience when applying for Pharmacy Non-Resident (Out of State) Licensing.
As in any business, time is money! If you are currently not servicing your customers in another state because of licensing or permitting delays, somebody else will! Additionally, if you are currently shipping to a state that you are not in compliance with, HCC strongly urges you to avoid the risk of unnecessary repercussions and bad publicity that may result. Use our experts here at HealthCare Consulting Pharmacy Staffing to keep you on track and compliant with each state you want to do business in. Contact HCC today online or call us at 800-642-1652 for a FREE, no obligation consultation to see how we can help.