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How to Navigate Regulatory Compliance with Pharmacy Software

pharmacist signing compliance paperwork

Running an independent pharmacy is undeniably complex.  Between building a profitable and efficient business and ensuring you’re compliant with any and all state and federal compliance regulations, it can be overwhelming to say the least.  Most retail pharmacy management systems have built in tools to help ensure you’re following all state and federal requirements, but the best pharmacy software systems will streamline your workflow by automating a lot of your compliance needs.  Datascan software builds in automated options that manage prescriptions for things like maximum allowable refills and transfers, to custom state specific label templates, controlled substance reporting, and so much more.  Your retail pharmacy software should also help manage PBM compliance by offering hard-stops or popups for things like plan specific expiration dates, and max number of refills.  Datascans pharmacy point of sale system is also able to track and report for controlled medication pickups and pseudoephedrine sales as well.  Your pharmacy management software should simplify running your pharmacy while ensuring compliance.

It goes without saying that every prescription you process needs to be filled in accordance with both federal and state requirements.  States have very specific rules that vary across the US with regards to compliance for prescription drug sales.  Different states have different laws regarding number of refills allowed on prescriptions, how long prescriptions are valid for, the control class of medications, whether or not certain controls can be refilled, and even how and what you can transfer RX’s from store to store.  The best pharmacy software have built in smart features that automatically alert or hard-stop you before you fill or attempt to transfer something that would be non-compliant.  In Datascan’s Pharmacy Management Software, your can set the pharmacy software options specific to the state your pharmacy resides in.  For example, if you are a pharmacy located in New York, you would only be able to transfer one refill at a time to another pharmacy.  But, in other states, the pharmacy system will allow you to transfer an entire prescription out.  Additionally, if you are in a state that has requirements for daily reporting of controlled substances, your pharmacy software system will automatically upload a DOH report every day, including a zero report.  There are states that require reporting of certain drugs like Gabapentin and pseudoephedrine, and in those states, Datascan’s pharmacy computer system will include those drugs, whereas in states that do not require reporting of those drugs it will not.

pharmacy software compliance paperwork

Many pharmacies are licensed in more than one state, and that can certainly complicate things for pharmacy staff.  Your pharmacy management system should include features that help you make certain you are compliant to all states that you are licensed in.  Our pharmacy software helps you do this a few different ways.  One example, we have the ability to create multiple patient label templates which allows you to build state specific labels that include required fields by state.  The pharmacy system will automatically apply the state label based on the state a patient resides in, ensuring you never use the wrong template.  The best pharmacy software will also automatically report your controlled substance prescriptions to any and all states you’re licensed in, according to the rules and regs of that state.  Your pharmacy management software should make it easy to generate controlled files and automatically upload them to their specific states.  You should also be getting state specific reports with any reported errors.

In addition to state and federal requirements, there are also plenty of PBM specific requirements.  These include allowing or not allowing patients to be enrolled in automatic refills, a maximum number of refills allowed on a prescription, prescription expiration dates, and even maximum days supply allowed.  In many pharmacy software systems you can configure specific plan codes with the above options and the system will force users to fill prescriptions within the guidelines set by that plan.  The best pharmacy systems include options and tools that help eliminate human error as much as possible.  These features will make sure you’re maximizing your profits and minimizing any potential for loss or claw backs from PBM’s (pharmacy benefit managers).

As your pharmacy tries to navigate the complexities of state, federal, and PBM requirements it’s important to choose a pharmacy software partner that understands the landscape of pharmacy, regulations across the United States, and can assist with robust features to make running your business easier.  Pharmacy software systems that build in options to guide you towards improved compliance are not only going to save you and your staff time, but are going to save you a tremendous amount of money in the long-run.  If your pharmacy management software does not offer the aforementioned options, now is the time to consider looking at other software solutions.  Datascan continues to build in cutting edge features designed with pharmacy owners in mind.