Are you running a prescription medication service?
The industry was small compared to others before 2020 when it boomed and projected a $202.3 billion market size. It’s vital to ensure those with comorbidities need not risk infection to get prescription medication for themselves. The convenience provides also appeals to many, boosting the industry’s popularity.
Because of this, many new services pop up to help those in need. If you’re among them, you must learn the finer points of shipping drugs to customers. Failing to do so can subject you to legal action, spelling trouble for your business and associates.
To help you out, we’ve prepared some tips below. Learn how you can legally deliver prescription drugs to customers with ease. We’ll also discuss what else you can do to simplify the job and ensure quality medication reaches your clients.
1. Fill In the Paperwork With Each Order
Know that there is a ton of paperwork to fill out with each order when shipping drugs. You have the preliminary forms to fill out about the customer. Their condition and the prescription medication they need are here, too.
Plaster these along the side of the package before delivery. Doing so allows authorities to access the information with ease. Remember to include HIPAA notices and medicinal guides, too.
These show the delivery is HIPAA-compliant, preventing potential delays. It also serves to protect the customers’ information. Doing so protects all parties involved from legal issues spawning from leaked information.
2. Check the Delivery Address
When delivering prescription medication, pay close attention to the customer’s address. Doing so is vital to avoid complications on your end.
For one, it allows customers to point out any mistake they made when giving it initially. It’s a small step that can prevent days’ worth of delays while you look for the correct address.
Checking the delivery address also tells you if you’re delivering to a P.O. box. These aren’t acceptable addresses as no one is there to sign for the delivery. You’ll need the patient’s signature to avoid claims saying they never received the package.
3. Know State Regulations for Drugs
If you’re delivering to an out-of-state address, check the state’s regulations. Some states have regulations against certain substances and have specific guidelines on how you should handle deliveries. Reading up on state regulations allows you to prepare what couriers need to avoid delays.
Some states require additional paperwork with the package. A pharmacy license, for example, must be with the package for authorities to examine. Other states would be content with an oral description of the address before the delivery can proceed.
4. Secure a Prescription Before Delivery
If your customers are ordering prescription medication, secure a written order from a doctor. Government regulations prevent medicinal outlets from issuing certain meds without a prescription. Doing otherwise would mean paying a fine or having your permits revoked.
Make sure you’re getting a valid prescription, too. It must be within 90 days of issuing the prescription and issued by a licensed medical professional. Invalid prescriptions are as good as having no prescription at all.
5. Know What You’re Prescribing
When going into the business, learn what controlled substances are. These are substances under heavy scrutiny by the DEA. It means that delivering them is next to impossible unless under specific circumstances.
The DEA has a list of controlled substances for you to read. Knowing what they are will help you better prepare them for delivery. One way to ensure a secure delivery is by having a locking cap on the medicine.
6. Choose a Delivery Option to Stick With
You have different options for delivery when going into the business. While it’s possible to branch out later on, sticking with one at the start helps future-proof your finances.
You can opt for mail deliveries to avoid exchanging hands too many times. Mail deliveries require you to use their packaging materials, though. It can be detrimental if the packaging is too big and the medicine is in a fragile container.
Mail couriers are also a good option. These third-party services offer same-day delivery services for expedited orders. Go through different services, too, and ask if they can provide discounted shipping rates to benefit your business.
Pharmacies can also work as drop-off locations. You can ship the customer’s meds to the nearest pharmacy for them to pick up. Some pharmacies even use drones to deliver medicines to nearby places.
7. Ensure Package Integrity Before Shipping Drugs
Medicine delivery is a lifeline for some patients. As such, ensuring product protection and quality is paramount. The only way for you to do this is through package integrity.
Ensure the container is durable and doesn’t allow the medicine to move around. Too much movement can shake up the contents and cause its quality to decline. Notify your couriers, so they know to take care when handling the package.
If you’re dealing with the shipment of refrigerated meds, temperature control is vital. You can store the meds in a cooler or surround it with cooling packs, but the condensation it produces can affect the product. For the best results, provide cold packaging for shipping pharmaceuticals from the get-go.
8. Heed Pharmaceutical Advice
Patients often order medicines in bulk. When this happens, get advice from a pharmacist. They can tell you if the combination of medicines can be lethal under certain circumstances.
Have them contact the patient, too. Doing so allows clear communication between the two parties.
9. Limit Your Drug Supply
Limiting your drug supply is ideal in the business. Doing so means there’s less risk of giving expired meds to patients. A good rule of thumb to follow is to have only 90-days’ worth of medicine in stock.
10. Keep Updating Patients
Delays can be costly to any business. When dealing with prescription medication, delays can be even more dangerous. It means that the patient may miss a dose, leaving them vulnerable to their conditions.
When a delay happens, notify the patient. Doing so allows them to take the steps needed to deal with the delay. It also gives them time to look for alternatives to use while waiting for the delivery to arrive.
Deliver Prescription Medication to Customers Today
Shipping drugs is simple if you know what you’re doing. You need not worry about getting into legal trouble by providing an essential service. Use these tips to see if you’re within the law and deliver medication with confidence today.
Are you interested in learning more about the health industry? Check out more of our guides for the latest trends and news.