Physician Dispensing Expanded in Montana

Last month, Montana joined the ranks of over forty states and passed a bill that allows physicians to dispense medications directly to their patients. Prior to this bill, physicians were not allowed to dispense medications to patients and only were granted the ability to do so when the nearest pharmacy was 10 or more miles away from the patient.  The bill was ultimately passed with the support of the Institute for Justice which had filed a lawsuit on behalf of three physicians seeking to dispense non-controlled medications to their patients. The bill also enjoyed the support of the Montana Pharmacy Association.

At least five other states still require that patients obtain their medications directly from a pharmacy rather than a doctor. While pharmacies continue to play a vital role in patient care, patients can also greatly benefit from receiving pharmacy services from their physician. For example, by being able to dispense to patients, physician practices have much greater insight and coordination into the care their patients receive. Furthermore, practices are able to encourage medication adherence and facilitate any requisite changes to a patient’s course of therapy. Many Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) allow physician practices to participate in their retail pharmacy networks, but often the credentialing process is long and requires significant documentation and information prior to gaining admission into the network. Physician practices seeking to dispense to their patients are oftentimes prevented from doing so by artificial barriers frequently imposed by PBMs. Consequently, it is very important that these practices understand their legal options.

How Frier Levitt Can Help

If you have a physician practice and are looking to obtain the ability to dispense medications to patients through your practice location, contact Frier Levitt to speak to an experienced attorney today.