The Basics

So what’s the “PLUS” in a Cost-Plus Model?

June 30, 2022

To those familiar with the model, the PLUS part of a cost-plus pharmacy model may seem intuitive. But if you’re still wrapping your head around it, you’re not alone. The best part of it is that it’s within your control and set entirely by YOU, kinda like those toppings on your ice cream sundae!

For many years, pharmacists and their teams have been providing special services to patients. Most, if not all, of these services have been included in the cost of dispensing the medication. Increasingly, the reimbursement for the drug doesn’t come close to even covering the cost of dispensing it (i.e. total reimbursement under the $12.40 nationwide average cost to dispense per NACDS). If the cost of the drug is not covered by the reimbursement, it’s a long shot to have dollars remaining for any, much less all, of the services that pharmacists provide. From free delivery to special packaging, synchronization, med lists, availability for patient questions, and much more, pharmacists have been providing many types of “PLUS” for years.

The COST in “Cost-plus” is based on a defined metric representing the cost of the drug itself (acquisition, NADAC, etc) with an additional pharmacy-defined markup to cover your handling costs. The PLUS part is your margin on the prescription beyond covering your cost, and is determined by YOU. Since this is a cash-based plan, you are free to set the COST and the PLUS. The PLUS could include a $5–20 or more per month fee that is set to cover your unique special services. The PLUS could be a membership fee paid annually. Or, the PLUS could be any iteration of this. The gift is that YOU decide and YOU set the price.

Need help figuring out your PLUS? Get in touch today!

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