Cost-to-Dispense Study for Long-Term Care Pharmacy

NCPA's LTC Division and the NCPA Foundation joined with Virginia Commonwealth University School (VCU) of Pharmacy to conduct an important cost-to-dispense (CTD) research study for independent, closed-door LTC pharmacies. The report, Analysis of Costs to Dispense Prescriptions in Independently Owned Long Term Care Pharmacies, was released by VCU in February 2013.

Leading up to the study, NCPA observed that outdated LTC dispensing studies did not accurately reflect the current costs incurred by independent closed-door pharmacies to dispense prescriptions. It is not evident that Medicare Part D plans or state Medicaid programs have considered the new technology or staffing burdens LTC pharmacies must bear in order to continue meeting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services LTC performance guidelines. In addition, new CMS regulations require LTC pharmacy providers to use short-cycle dispensing techniques to reduce medication waste for Part D LTC beneficiaries by moving from traditional 30-day fills to 14-day-or-less fills for certain brand-name medications.

As LTC pharmacy adapts to changes in the marketplace, this new CTD research provides data to help educate government and private health care payers about the current costs associated with filling prescriptions for residents of LTC facilities.

Questions? E-mail: or call 1-800-544-7447.

Cost-to-Dispense Study Research Conducted by:

Norman V. Carroll, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes
School of Pharmacy
Virginia Commonwealth University

Michael T. Rupp, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacy Administration
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy– Glendale

David A. Holdford, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes
School of Pharmacy
Virginia Commonwealth University

All cost-to-dispense survey respondents who completed the survey in full prior to the date the survey closed were entered into a drawing for chance to win an Apple iPad 3 with Wi-Fi. VCU research staff conducted the drawing and notified the winner in January 2013.

NCPA and the NCPA Foundation thank the following sponsors for their generous support:

American Pharmacies ABC Association of Northwest Pharmacies Bellco Generics gerimed IPC Innovatix Keystone Pharmacy Alliance LTCPCMS McKesson Corporation Parata Pharmacy First Qs1 Quality Care Pharmacies Rochester Drug Rx Plus RxSystems Value Drug Company