9 Critical Details to Enhance a Pharmacy Ownership Change

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Mar 24, 2016 8:39:27 AM


A pharmacy ownership change is difficult at best. There’s so much to do to ensure that the transition goes smoothly. It’s not uncommon for crucial details to be forgotten, causing problems down the road.

So, if you own a small chain that has taken over pharmacies in the past, are a single pharmacy owner with aspirations to grow your pharmacy business, or are just starting out in the business and planning on taking over an existing pharmacy, here are 9 critical details you shouldn’t forget during a pharmacy ownership change.

1. Co-branding

Merriam-Webster defines co-branding as marketing in conjunction with another company so that the product bears the name of both. If you’re interested, here are 8 examples of successful co-branding partnerships!

Co-branding for a pharmacy means, instead of removing the old branding of the pharmacy you’re taking over, maintain the existing brand as it was but with the benefit of now being a part of your pharmacy group.

This is especially helpful when you’re keeping the old staff. It lets current patients know that while the pharmacy is under new management the same trusted staff members will still be caring for them. It also could possibly bring in new patients, because your brand is better known in the surrounding communities.

2. Contact Information

This includes important information such as:

  • Physical and mailing address
  • Phone and fax numbers
  • Email address

If this information is going to change you need to update companies you partner with, such as doctor’s offices, so they know where to send patients and prescriptions.

3. Pharmacy Identification Numbers

  • NPI (National Provider Identifier) Number
  • NCPDP (National Council for Prescription Drug Programs) Number
  • Tax ID (Tax Identification) Number
  • DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Number

In some cases you may be able to keep the same numbers the previous pharmacy owner had. However, if they must be changed, do so quickly, as it can take an extended amount of time depending on the organizations response time.  

4. Electronic Prescriptions

If you plan to accept electronic prescriptions in the pharmacy you’re obtaining, which in today’s pharmacy landscape is required to be successful, you’ll need to update prescribing physicians and the company responsible for your escripts with the pharmacy’s information. This may be your pharmacy software vendor or a third-party company.

5. Website and Web Refill

Like the rest of your contact information your website address will need to be updated. To ensure that you’re still catching all the web traffic going to the old site you should contact your website host to forward them to your new site. This is also a great time to review your current web presence.

Additionally, you may need to contact your pharmacy software vendor to update your landing page responsible for accepting web refills.

6. Pharmacy Software

Pharmacy software is no small expense, but its partnership is crucial to your pharmacy business. It’s important that you have a trusted option in place in your newly-obtained pharmacy.

In the transition you can leave the current software in place. This is especially beneficial if you’re keeping the staff. It ensures that the employees know how the software functions on top of saving you a large expense.

However, if the pharmacy software in place isn’t optimized for your pharmacy’s needs a transition is an excellent time to train employees on a new software. Here is a great article on what to do when you are evaluating a possible change in your current Pharmacy Software Partner.

7-9. Third Party Transmission Company (Claims Switch), Drug Wholesaler, and Credit Card Processor

  • Switching Companies – Do you know who your current pharmacy third-party transmissions are sent through? Many pharmacies going through this transition are unsure of the partner they have chosen for this aspect of their business. This partner can be a very valuable asset to your bottom line. If you aren’t sure who you currently trust with your claims processing please speak with your pharmacy software partner.
  • Wholesalers – Choosing a trusted wholesaler is an important aspect of your business. This is also your primary avenue for receiving drug distribution and OTC item pricing. Connecting with the current wholesale representative for the existing pharmacy is very important and can yield big dividends. From branding material to merchandising options, your wholesaler connection can help carry a lot of burden through a pharmacy transition.
  • Credit Card Processor – If you’re using a POS system provided by your pharmacy software partner, you will want to ensure that you’re credit card processor is compatible with their software. This is where it can get a bit tricky if you choose to keep the software that was already in place in the pharmacy. Your preferred credit card processor may not be available with this new software. Due to many factors in the card processing and security industry, it can be very challenging for a software to partner with more than one card processor. Selecting a card processor that understand SIGIS, PCI and PA-DDS is a must in pharmacy today.
The dilemma with these three details is similar to pharmacy software. Will you keep the one in current use by the pharmacy, or will you switch it over to a company that you already have a relationship with or trust more? On one hand, it may be easier for your staff, if you keep the same system. On the other, it may be easier for you to have all pharmacies on similar systems. You'll have to decide.

Now, the next time you’re facing a pharmacy change in ownership, you can use this as a checklist of things to remember in the rush to impact another community with your pharmacy service!

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