Dispensing in Bariatric Practices

Over the last six months, we’ve been approached by a number of bariatric surgery centers that offer physician-directed weight loss services.  Many of these clinics offer pharmaceutical dispensing as part of their service to their patients.  Physician dispensing in a bariatric practice is a great fit for several reasons:

  1. Many patients are not good candidates for gastric bypass surgery and must therefore look for other alternatives to help them manage the disease called obesity.
  2. Physicians typically prescribe a narrow range of medications for weight-loss management.  A smaller, targeted formulary is easier to manage from a clinic perspective.
  3. Because weight management is an ongoing battle, physician-directed weight management often requires that patients be on medications for extended periods.  This increases the practice’s opportunity to dispense medications.
  4. The nature of obesity is complex from a psychological as well as a physiological perspective.  Allowing the patient to receive treatment and products in the safe environment of the clinic avoids extra trips to the pharmacy and long waits for medications.

Depending on the number of patients, medication dispensing in a bariatric clinic can be overwhelming.  I have talked to numerous clinics that are purchasing bulk bottles and counting out pills for patient prescriptions.  This is incredibly time consuming and completely unnecessary.  PCA Pharmaceuticals offers prepackaged medications to medical clinics; this means that we break the bulk bottles into smaller, unit-of-use bottles.  For example, some of our clinics will dispense Phentermine 37.5mg in 30 count, 45 count and 60 count bottles.  Our bottles are labeled according to FDA and state pharmacy board guidelines; the clinic will need to place a label with the patient’s name, instructions and clinic name to make it a legal prescription.

PCA’s dispensing systems include a manual labeling approach as well as software (RxTracker) to print labels and track inventory.  Our goal is to make it quick and easy to provide the medications to your patients.

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