Myth #4: Backup Pharmacy Partners Can’t Help You Grow

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for the Myth Busters team at MedCallRx to dispel the final misperception of backup pharmacy in 2020. This month, we’ll examine whether backup pharmacy partners can help long-term care pharmacies grow.

But before we do that, it’s important to understand the history of backup pharmacy partners. The term “backup pharmacy” began a long time ago to appropriately describe the function retail pharmacies provided to closed-door or long-term care (LTC) pharmacies – to serve as a backup to fill patient prescriptions.

LTC pharmacies used their backup pharmacy partner primarily when:

  • Medication orders were placed outside of normal business hours, on weekends or holidays
  • The LTC pharmacy was out-of-stock or unable to fill the prescription within the timeframe required by the LTC facility

Twenty years ago, most LTC pharmacies contracted individually with retail pharmacies. That changed when GeriScriptRx (the sister company of MedCallRx) created a better model. GeriScript gave LTC pharmacies an alternative to contracting with retail pharmacies on an individual basis: contract with a single pharmacy benefit manager to manage the entire network, including delivery!

The benefits of this model proved advantageous for many reasons, including the elimination of administrative hassles. Over time, the market embraced the new “backup pharmacy” model that is in place today, utilizing partners like GeriScriptRx and MedCallRx to provide PBM and medication delivery services.

While the industry has largely embraced the backup pharmacy model, some pharmacies still only think of these partners as an essential stop-gap rather than a strategic partner that can support future growth.

One of the many benefits of working with a backup pharmacy partner is to enable expansion into new geographies. With the right partner – one with a large and reliable delivery network – LTC pharmacies can extend their geographic reach by utilizing the backup pharmacy for unscheduled medications, as well as first dose or first fill services for new admissions. While facilities further away from the LTC pharmacy may require more backup pharmacy fills, the pharmacy still gains additional business not possible without support from a partner.

Backup pharmacy partners are also able to help pharmacies grow by supporting timely launch schedules. Many of the most successful LTC pharmacies use their backup pharmacy partner in the two hours before and after a launch to enable their team to achieve timely launches and meet facility service level agreements.

So, there you have it! The Myth Busters team has done it again by demonstrating that backup pharmacy partners CAN help LTC pharmacies grow. If you have a myth you’d like us to debunk, or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact us.

We’ll see you again in 2021 for another edition of Myth Busters!