A no-contract purchasing tool for ordering discount drugs

March 15, 2013

The PBA Health Negotiator offers independent pharmacies the chance to order drugs at a discount, without a contract

Independent pharmacies can keep their drug inventories at the levels they need with the help of an online purchasing service - and they can do it without a contractual agreement.

PBA Health, a professional pharmacy services organization that operates its own full-service distribution center in Kansas City, Mo., is offering independents daily discounts on brand and generic drugs that are ordered through its online program, Negotiator, found at the PBA Health website (http://www.pbahealth.com/).

Negotiator gives independents the option to meet their inventory needs as they arise, said Nick Smock, PharmD, MBA, CEO of PBA Health.

While most wholesalers try to establish and lock in a long-term commitment from their clients, the Negotiator was created as a way for pharmacies to purchase quality products at a fair price without a contract.

“It’s an avenue for people to do business with us, even though they might be committed to someone else,” he said.

Volume pricing

Discounts offered on the site are based on volume purchasing.

“Independents shop in real-time, and they can see the discounts calculated immediately as the specific drugs are added to the shopping basket,” Smock said.

Independents who place a qualifying order of $750 will receive free shipping and handling. The product usually ships for next-day delivery. For those orders that reach the dollar requirement and the qualifying generic percentage, a discount is calculated from the catalog sale price. The higher the amount purchased, the greater the discount, he noted.

“Prices are already discounted,” Smock added, “and pharmacies can usually obtain an additional 6% to 8% savings on each order. The program also provides suggestions on additional items that can be ordered to increase the discount.”

Additional features

Before placing an order, when pharmacists open the Negotiator home page, PBA Health shares exclusive updates and drug-related information about price changes, patent expirations, and new generics that are available.

Recently PBA Health added a new feature to its online program, RxCircuit, which provides independents with additional deep discounts on generics that include manufacturers’ rebates. The company is able to offer these generic drugs in limited quantities and provide a quarterly rebate check for them, Smock said.

In addition to the discounts offered on products and the rebates available through RxCircuit, Negotiator offers independent pharmacists two options for payment - credit card for immediate payment with Mastercard or VISA, or a purchase order.

Quality drug source

PBA Health purchases directly from brand and generic manufacturers. Every brand and generic drug from the VAWD- and HDMA-certified PBA Health warehouse is a legitimate product sourced from the manufacturer. In these times of reported counterfeiting, Smock said, independents can’t afford to purchase questionable products.

“As a pharmacist and the CEO at PBA Health, I want to make sure that the product that we are shipping comes from the manufacturer, “ Smock said.

He added, “I would not want to be a pharmacist dispensing medication to someone and not know where it came from. Every pharmacist should know where their drugs are coming from, what is the quality of those drugs, and what is the pedigree.”

Although payers are putting pressures on pharmacies “to cut corners,” he noted, “the pharmacist is ultimately responsible for the product dispensed and hopefully providing a good outcome for patients.”

No long-term commitment

While most wholesalers try to establish a long-term commitment from its clients and lock it in, PBA Health offers the Negotiator - a solution for independents who do not want a full commitment or contract.

It is a good idea to have a minimum of at least 2 suppliers, Smock pointed out. “So we created Negotiator to create an avenue for people to do business with us, even though they might be committed to someone else,” he said.

“Negotiator allows pharmacies to purchase quality pharmaceuticals at a fair price without any contractual issue,” he concluded.

For additional details, go to www.drugtopics.com/negotiator.