Mail-Order Pharmacy Startups
Mail-order pharmacies have become a significant portion of the specialty pharmacy startup increase and a segment that is undergoing rapid growth and equally rapid change. Independent mail-order pharmacies are now thriving by specializing in a specific niches or disease states. Examples include cystic fibrosis, hospice, nuclear, COPD and respiratory medications, plus oncology and cancer medications. The large mail-order pharmacies no longer dominate the mail-order pharmacy marketplace and independent mail-order pharmacy startups are on the rise nationally. The catalyst for the significant increase in the number of independent mail-order pharmacies being opened and started is fueled by the substantial opportunity for return on investment. The mail-order pharmacy has become a proven business model for the entrepreneur who wants to participate in what is being called the “Specialty Pharmacy Era”.
As with all other specialty pharmacies, mail-order pharmacy startups require an understanding of the complexity involved in the setup, execution and ongoing management specific to this particular segment of operating a pharmacy business. In addition to all the other tasks and considerations involved in establishing a retail independent pharmacy, mail-order pharmacy startups must become experts regarding acronyms such as PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Managers), AWP (Average Wholesale Price), NDC (National Dispensing Codes), TPA (Third Party Administrators), MAC (Maximum Allowable Cost) to name just a few. In a pharmacy market segment historically associated with major insurance providers and large retail chains such as Walgreens, Humana, Aetna and Caremark, the number of independent mail order pharmacies specializing in specific niches or diseases is increasing at a rapid pace and independent mail-order pharmacies are exponentially increasing in both volume and market share.
Many independent mail-order pharmacies have experienced major success and the mail-order pharmacy model is thriving. Many have become extremely profitable business enterprises by specializing in a specific niche or diseasse. Specialization has led to increased efficiency, decreased waste, improvements in production and shipping, and ultimately increases in profit and market share. Additionally, many independent mail-order pharmacies have embraced customer service, thus leading to significant customer satisfaction and loyalty. Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs have also been embraced by many independent mail-order pharmacies to help patients improve in regards to drug compliance and medication outcomes.
Although complex challenges and issues regarding the start-up or opening of a new mail-order pharmacy must be addressed, independent mail-order pharmacy startups have become a lucrative business venture for many entrepreneurs. As with any new pharmacy start-up, find an experienced and reputable Pharmacy Consulting Firm to partner with! The planning and execution are still the keys to a smooth pharmacy operation being opened and becoming a successful business. Just a few of the considerations and tasks that are required for any successful pharmacy start-up operation include:
– The creation and review of a business plan
– Guidance regarding type of corporation to form – Limited Liability or LLC, C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Sole Proprietorship or a General partnership
– Startup cost estimates
– Obtaining financing
– Work flow design
– Assistance and guidance with the DEA & State Board of Pharmacy application process
– Creating Policy and Procedure manuals and Continuance Quality Improvement (CQI) manual
– Purchasing the equipment and supplies
– Obtaining legal support
– Staffing (not only the pharmacist, but technicians and ancillary support staff personnel)
As always, please contact us here at HCC if you have questions regarding establishing or running a mail-order pharmacy. With over 31 years in the Pharmacy Consulting business, HCC can assist with expert advice in any area of your pharmacy business or practice. We urge you to contact us today to see how our Pharmacy Consulting services can help. With a full-time staff of in-house Pharmacy Consultant specialists, HCC can answer any questions that you may have in all areas of your business. Contact us online or call us at 800-642-1652.