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Dispensary Profitability Audits


Dispex is pleased to bring a new contributor to the services we provide, Alastair Carmichael, Registered Pharmacist.  Not only will he be tutoring our courses but also providing a Dispensing Practice Audit Service designed to focus on profitability and safe and smarter dispensing. These audits are not sponsored and will be fully independent and designed to give you the answers you need.

Alastair explains, “In clinical practice, we often review what we do in patient care by way of a structured audit to ensure that the practice is still delivering the best care for its patients, and thus it’s a good idea to review how your dispensary business operates in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and profitability.”

Dispex has teamed up with Alastair Carmichael to offer you access to his services at a reduced rate. Over the past two years Alastair has reviewed the dispensing business model of over 55 different practices and helped many of them to achieve greater profitability, logistical efficiency and even safety in dispensing.

Alastair Carmichael is a Registered Pharmacist with a wealth of experience, having been working in the arena of Dispensing Practices for the last 4 ½ years. His wide-ranging career experience as a Practice Pharmacist, CQC Pharmacist Specialist Advisor, Area Manager for a Community Pharmacy group and European Business Development Executive stands him in an excellent position to assist and advise practices on their future sustainability and explore all options open to dispensing practice.

A Dispensing Practice Audit could cover some or all of the following areas, depending upon the needs of the individual practice:

• Gross profitability of the dispensary
• Advice on dispensing choices and practice formulary
• Assessing the balance of CCG pressures and commercial reality
• Clinical governance of the dispensary and audit of DSQS
• Logistical analysis of the dispensary processes and efficiencies
• Strategic and business development
• Utilisation of pharmacists in General Practice
• Preparation for a CQC Inspection

The reviews have been designed to be completed in one day, followed by a written report for the practice to consider further. This report will give the practice the opportunity to benchmark their dispensing profitability and cost against similar practices across England & Wales.

We asked Alastair how best to look at this kind of service and he told us, “When considering whether such an audit would be beneficial for a practice, it is essential to engage with all interested parties in the practice/business to allow for everyone to have input and therefore also ensuring that those same people have interest in the output of the audit. To this aim, a short meeting with the practice team, such as the Dispensary Manager, Practice Manager and Lead Dispensary GP tends to lead to a more effective audit and successful outcome.”

Some of the key findings from recent audits include:

Lack of compliance to the practice formulary and thus reduced profitability – considers new clinicians that may not be aware of the consequences of their prescribing

Unopposed input from CCG Medicines Management team which has led to reduced dispensing profitability – designing alternative options for better win-win scenarios

Poor prescription administration identified from full analysis of Open Exeter statements, and leading to an overhaul of counting and checking processes and reduced losses

Missed discounts from new manufacturer discount deals that have not been signed up to

Reduced purchasing discounts from varied generic buying methods, including issues around Price Concessions

Improvements in the logistics of the repeat prescription processes, leading to more efficient working patterns and improved safety in dispensing

Review of the operational effectiveness of combining Pharmacy and Dispensing businesses into a Hybrid business

If you think your practice would benefit from a Dispensing Practice Audit or to discuss your needs in more detail then please contact Dispex on 01604 859000 or email for more details and to book your audit.