Nov 26, 2010
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While on vacation in California I saw an independent who specialized in pain management. The actual pharmacy name was Pain Management Rx. This seems like a great idea....cheap inventory, hours were 9-6 M-F. Has anyone thought of this idea? Anyone who owns an independent feel this is a viable option? How many rx's would you need to fill daily to make a profit with this type of inventory?
With eRx passing C2-C5, you could even offer shipping the Rx's to the patients. Any thoughts? I'm willing to try anything to get out of Walgreens
 

ttopping

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Some people in Florida have thought of this idea...not exactly an honest way of practicing "pharmacy" in that area judging by whats been going on
 
OP
J
Nov 26, 2010
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I can agree with that in South Florida b/c of the issues with pain clinics but in PA we really don't have that big of an issue. I just thought there may be enough legit docs and patients who are turned away or don't want to be hassled at a normal retail/chain pharmacy that I could make what I make here but have my own place with better hours. Just a thought. Any more advice would be helpful.
 

ttopping

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Well I also think that they can get away with that kind of business because of the large volume moving around down there and the demand for narcotics.

Personally I just wouldn't see an advantage for the average pain patient going to a specialty pharmacy to get the same stuff you could at a pharmacy that's 20 minutes closer to your house. Especially if it's only for an occasional script for lortab, etc. Therefore, I just couldn't see a profitable business as a strict pain management pharmacy.

Now if you worked side by side with a hospice program that could be a different story. Chronic pain patients might have more of a need (and benefit). Since they're aren't going to be an overwhelming amount of chronic pain patients in general (not counting hospice), there wouldn't be an overwhelming amount of business if it stood on it's own.

I'm no business guy by any means, I'm just trying to think rationally about it.
 

kvl1027

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While on vacation in California I saw an independent who specialized in pain management. The actual pharmacy name was Pain Management Rx. This seems like a great idea....cheap inventory, hours were 9-6 M-F. Has anyone thought of this idea? Anyone who owns an independent feel this is a viable option? How many rx's would you need to fill daily to make a profit with this type of inventory?
With eRx passing C2-C5, you could even offer shipping the Rx's to the patients. Any thoughts? I'm willing to try anything to get out of Walgreens
I don't know how an independent could stay in business if all they did was pain management medications. The kind of people that you want are those patients who are on maintenance medications like BP meds or antidepressants. A lot of your pain patients are on short term therapy and those who are therapy for chronic pain issues will go to whoever has it the cheapest. If you are a pain management pharmacy and you are running on this margins to attract business and all you are doing in pain patients your doors will be shut pretty quickly in my own opinion.

Also, if you are ordering C-II's above allocation the DEA will be breathing down your neck and trust me, they don't come to your pharmacy to "not" find something. They will get you for something no matter how much you have your **** together and they wont leave until they find something.

If you want to carve out a niche with a focus on pain management, then open a regular independent and get to know your local pain management docs. Make sure they are running a legitimized pain management clinic and are not just pill mills. Establish a good relationship with them and they will send their patients to you so their patients wont be hassled.

I just don't know if I would want my entire livelihood dependent on pain management, there are just too many iffy docs and sketchy patients, it just would be worth it.
 
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J
Nov 26, 2010
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Hmmm, I wonder how is this chain able to have 7 stores on the west coast. assuredpharmacy.com
 

ttopping

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It just seems like more chronic conditions and no "retail" aspect of the store, simply pharmacy related


This is probably how they stay in business and have more than 1 store: (from the website)


While we specialize in pain medication, we also carry other popular prescription medications, including those for:

  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure

  • Cholesterol
  • Sleep
  • Asthma
 

kvl1027

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Hmmm, I wonder how is this chain able to have 7 stores on the west coast. assuredpharmacy.com
I'm not saying it is not a possibility to stay open or even profit from this type of operation. There are plenty of pharmacies, especially in Florida, who open small, low overhead pharmacies that seem to cater to those who exhibit drug seeking behavior. They stay open under the radar of the DEA, because they do not purchase C-II's over allocation and are otherwise left alone, because they don't throw up any red flags. Each individual store doesn't make that much money, but combined they can bring in some significant cash flow.
I would be very careful getting into this type of practice.
 
Dec 9, 2010
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there's a huge problem with these types of facilities in FL. they just ran a news expose on the orlando market and said there's 80+ catering to mostly drug addicts. I live just outside of orlando and there's a place here that constantly get's raided by the police. Don't know how they're even still in business. The guy who obviously owns the place (has his face printed on the sign) was caught my the local news giving "patients" lists of doctors they could go to for an easy prescription.
 

Farmacist2011

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there's a huge problem with these types of facilities in FL. they just ran a news expose on the orlando market and said there's 80+ catering to mostly drug addicts. I live just outside of orlando and there's a place here that constantly get's raided by the police. Don't know how they're even still in business. The guy who obviously owns the place (has his face printed on the sign) was caught my the local news giving "patients" lists of doctors they could go to for an easy prescription.
http://www.hulu.com/watch/100279/vanguard-the-oxycontin-express

go FL: home of crooked Drs and addicts!
 
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Mar 12, 2010
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Pain pharmacies seem to be the only ones hiring right now in my area. They are popping up everywhere. But, I am too worried about possible consequences of working at these particular pharmacies. I have no problem with filling prescriptions for pain meds and have compassion for people in pain. However, in the Houston area, the risks outweigh the need for employment. I don't want to tarnish my career. I am sure there are many legit pain pharmacies out there, but I just don't want to be put under that scrutiny from the state board. JMO.
 

kvl1027

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Pain pharmacies seem to be the only ones hiring right now in my area. They are popping up everywhere. But, I am too worried about possible consequences of working at these particular pharmacies. I have no problem with filling prescriptions for pain meds and have compassion for people in pain. However, in the Houston area, the risks outweigh the need for employment. I don't want to tarnish my career. I am sure there are many legit pain pharmacies out there, but I just don't want to be put under that scrutiny from the state board. JMO.
There are a lot of shady business guys who want to open pharmacies up and hire a "pharmacist in charge" to run things so they can get their license, sell a bunch of Narcs, make some cash and then close up shop.
 

SomeGuy

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But what do these pain mgmt pharmacies pay!?!?!?

Certainly someone is providing the outpatient palliative PCA pumps. Is it all coming from the hospitals, or are these outpt providers in each state/city/??? ?
 

kvl1027

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But what do these pain mgmt pharmacies pay!?!?!?

Certainly someone is providing the outpatient palliative PCA pumps. Is it all coming from the hospitals, or are these outpt providers in each state/city/??? ?
Doesn't a PCA need to be in a hospital or Hospice facility? Usually in a hospital PCA is not even aloud on general med surge floors depending on the nurse to patient ratio.
 

MountainPharmD

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I don't know how an independent could stay in business if all they did was pain management medications. The kind of people that you want are those patients who are on maintenance medications like BP meds or antidepressants. A lot of your pain patients are on short term therapy and those who are therapy for chronic pain issues will go to whoever has it the cheapest. If you are a pain management pharmacy and you are running on this margins to attract business and all you are doing in pain patients your doors will be shut pretty quickly in my own opinion. .
You could not be any more wrong and you do not know the market very well. A legit pain management pharmacy could be the most profitable type of independant.

Chronic pain patients are some of the most neglected and marginalized patients out there. Do you realize the hassle these patients have to go through to get their medications? There are likely treated like criminals or drug addicts every time they fill their prescriptions. They likely have trouble finding the medication because no one wants to order it or keep it in stock. Controlled medications have some of the highest profit margins. They are not on anyone's $4 list so the margins are still good. So treat your patients with respect. Have thier medications in stock with no hassles. You will be surprised.

I just don't know if I would want my entire livelihood dependent on pain management, there are just too many iffy docs and sketchy patients, it just would be worth it.
This attitude is exactly why a pain management pharmacy is a good idea. Do your research. Partner with legitamate pain docs and you will do well.
 

kvl1027

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You could not be any more wrong and you do not know the market very well. A legit pain management pharmacy could be the most profitable type of independant.

Chronic pain patients are some of the most neglected and marginalized patients out there. Do you realize the hassle these patients have to go through to get their medications? There are likely treated like criminals or drug addicts every time they fill their prescriptions. They likely have trouble finding the medication because no one wants to order it or keep it in stock. Controlled medications have some of the highest profit margins. They are not on anyone's $4 list so the margins are still good. So treat your patients with respect. Have thier medications in stock with no hassles. You will be surprised.



This attitude is exactly why a pain management pharmacy is a good idea. Do your research. Partner with legitamate pain docs and you will do well.
I guarantee that a legit, strictly pain management pharmacy, would not be the most profitable type of pharmacy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Sure there are many patients out there who are legitimately in pain and need the proper treatment, I deal with these patients everyday. But I also get a whole lot of those who drop by late Friday evening with their oxy 30, oxy 15, and xanax 2mg scripts from 200 miles away. Even a legitimate pain management pharmacy, who advertises as such, will be fighting of these kind of people all day long. It's not worth the risk, it's not worth the DEA breathing down your neck.

I never said selling pain meds was not profitable, but opening a pharmacy that only does pain meds, I think not. I don't care if your running at 40%. If you are doing 200-300 scripts/day of all pain meds, there is something fishy going on. I'd rather keep my 23-27% of 300 scripts than 40-45% of 60-70 scripts.

Pain management patients are neglected and marginalized because if you are not careful, it can be the fastest way for you to lose your ass.

Just out of curiosity, where is you pain management pharmacy located? In Florida, they are everywhere and they usually stay open for a couple of years (sometimes less), then skip town. So opening one here, even if it is legit, you will be looked at very closely and frankly I just don't think it is worth the hassle.
 

jCoLeDelsen

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This will soon be a thing of the past.

Suppliers are starting to change their ratios (I dont know how long it will last, pharmacy owners dont like it) from pill count to dollar amount. This will eliminate the "Pill Mills".

Also, as for Florida, they are passing laws everyday to help end this. For example, now suppliers wont approve pharmacies that have ANY relation to a pain clinic in Florida. Also, the DEA is starting to put an end to pharmacy owners who are not pharmacists.

My advice, keep it legit. You can still make a damn good living running a squeaky clean pharmacy that checks and double checks it's scripts. People come back for customer service and price, not just the C-2's.
 

kvl1027

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This will soon be a thing of the past.

Suppliers are starting to change their ratios (I dont know how long it will last, pharmacy owners dont like it) from pill count to dollar amount. This will eliminate the "Pill Mills".

Also, as for Florida, they are passing laws everyday to help end this. For example, now suppliers wont approve pharmacies that have ANY relation to a pain clinic in Florida. Also, the DEA is starting to put an end to pharmacy owners who are not pharmacists.

My advice, keep it legit. You can still make a damn good living running a squeaky clean pharmacy that checks and double checks it's scripts. People come back for customer service and price, not just the C-2's.
Exactly!
 

SomeGuy

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Doesn't a PCA need to be in a hospital or Hospice facility? Usually in a hospital PCA is not even aloud on general med surge floors depending on the nurse to patient ratio.
Not 'round these parts. Our single-payer model has realized that keeping people in their home (along with as needed nursing/support worker visits) is a heck of a lot cheaper than keeping them in the hospital/hospice. Often more dignified as well depending on their care needs.