Are hidden dose-aid costs draining thousands of dollars from your pharmacy?

Pharmacist says cost of service could be higher than the revenue

Pharmacies could be losing tens of thousands of dollars a year because of hidden costs related to packing dose administration aids.

money down the drain

Pharmacist Andria Aird, a business officer with the Guild’s WA branch, has calculated a potential loss of $40,950 per year for pharmacies providing dose administration aids to 50 patients.

That equates to a loss $15.75 per week for each patient and is based on the weekly $30.15 cost per patient being higher than the combined income of $14.40 from the 6CPA fee ($6.08) and the average AHI and dispensing fee ($8.32).

  "As we all know, Dosage Administration Aids (DAA’s) are an invaluable tool in medication management and should be embraced in modern pharmacy practice," Ms Aird writes on the Pharmacy Guild blog.

“Depending on the number of [dose administration aids] you pack, it may be worth looking at programs that use a virtual pill count, an external packing service or investing in your own automation."

Here is a breakdown of the weekly costs for each patient taking three medications:

  • Materials: $1.50
  • Technician wages (30 minutes): $10
  • Pharmacist wages (10 minutes): $6.55 — includes the time taken to liaise with GPs and family
  • Pharmacy infrastructure (including rent for the space used to pack aids): $12

Ms Aird advises pharmacies to “do their sums” and be sure dose administration aids are worth the pharmacy’s and pharmacists’ time and effort.

It’s important to ensure they're not taking pharmacists away from customer-facing roles and that OTC and retail and professional services are not impacted, she says.

Read the full blog here.

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