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Telemed J E Health. 2008 Apr;14(3):235-44. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2007.0045.

Is there a successful business case for telepharmacy?

Author information

1
College of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105-5055, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the financial operation of a Single Business Unit (SBU), consisting of one central retail pharmacy and two remote retail telepharmacies. Analyses of income statements and balance sheets for three consecutive years (2002-2004) were conducted. Several items from these statements were compared to the industry average. Gross profit increased from $260,093 in 2002 to $502,262 in 2004. The net operating income percent was 2.9 percentage points below the industry average in 2002, 3.9 percentage points below in 2003, and 1.3 percentage points above in 2004. The inventory turnover ratio remained consistently below the industry average, but it also increased over the period. This is an area of concern, given the high cost of pharmaceuticals and a higher likelihood of obsolescence that exists with a time-sensitive inventory. Despite these concerns, the overall trend for the SBU is positive. The rate of growth between 2002 and 2004 shows that it is getting close to median sales as reported in the NCPA Digest. The results of this study indicate that multiple locations become profitable when a sufficient volume of patients (sales) is reached, combined with efficient use of the pharmacist's time.

PMID:
18570546
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2007.0045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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