The last decade has seen a rise of so-called “shared service agreements” (“SSA’s”) within the pharmacy industry. These agreements, utilized by pharmacies under common ownership and pursuant to a contract between pharmacies that are not under common ownership, enable pharmacies to work with each other to perform certain prescription dispensing tasks. For example, one pharmacy may do all the data entry and DUR functions, while the second pharmacy prints the label and fills the prescription for delivery to the patient. In many cases this creates an opportunity for independent pharmacies to better compete with their chain drug store competitors. It also allows pharmacies to specialize, which can improve both patient care and medication outcomes.
Of critical importance is engaging in these agreements legally.
Many states will require pharmacies interesting in sharing services to: (1) have common ownership, or (2) have a written contract or agreement that outlines the services provided and the shared responsibilities of each party. In addition, many states require the two pharmacies share a real-time, online patient database. Beyond these minimum requirements, the states will have additional rules the pharmacies might need to consider. If the pharmacies engage in services that cross state lines, the rules of more than one state may need accommodation.
Implementing shared services can be a useful tool in growing your pharmacy business. Compliance with shared services regulations should be a priority. Boesen & Snow has represented many pharmacies in building a shared services program. We have the operational and legal experience to help your organization. If your pharmacy is performing shared services or implementing shared services, contact Boesen & Snow for guidance.