Magazine article Drug Topics

Rx Dispensing Costs Average $6

Magazine article Drug Topics

Rx Dispensing Costs Average $6

Article excerpt

The average cost of dispensing a prescription in a community pharmacy-the overhead-was $6.06 in 1997, according to NACDS estimates. Alaska's cost was the highest among all states, at $9.06, followed by New Jersey, $7.32; Hawaii, $7.28; Connecticut, $7.16; and California, $7.06. The cost of dispensing, which NACDS noted is closely linked to the cost of living, is lowest in Arkansas, at $5.36. Other low-cost states are South Dakota, $5.37; Nebraska, $5.38; Kansas, $5.45; and Vermont, $5.50. NACDS used a 1993 HCFA study and adjusted it to 1997 dollars with the Consumer Price Index to come up with its estimates.

Medicaid dispensing fees lag well behind the NACDS figures in all but a handful of states, based on a National Pharmaceutical Council survey (Drug Topics, Feb. 2). Dispensing fees paid by private insurers generally are well behind Medicaid's.

Tech talks

As a result of a new state board of pharmacy regulation, pharmacy technicians in New Mexico can now make the offer to counsel to a patient on refill prescriptions. The pharmacist must do the counseling. The pharmacist also must make the offer on all new Rxs.

Willing to be neutral

The Arizona Pharmacists Association has taken a neutral stance on any-willing-provider bills introduced in the legislature. APA said it "represents the profession, not the business or operational side of pharmacy. The APA board of directors believes getting involved in such business issues goes contrary to the association's mission, which is to represent pharmacists as patient-focused professionals who play an integral and valuable role in health care through the provision of pharmaceutical care. …

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