COLLABORATIVE DRUG THERAPY AGREEMENT
Step 3: Formalize your Partnerships
Formalize your partnerships by requesting agreement from pharmacies in your network to sign on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and encourage them to develop and enter into a Collaborative Drug Therapy Agreement. Once an emergency is declared, the local health officer within the jurisdiction can declare that these agreements are now in effect. It is essential that these partnerships are formalized prior to an emergency as trying to manage the details during a response would be cumbersome and difficult. Payment, liability, and business continuity issues will need to be addressed in order for a pharmacy to move forward. Although some questions may go without definitive answers, presenting reasonable alternatives that pharmacies can consider leaves some flexibility, for example: Consider a reimbursement program such as the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program. This is a federal program designed to assist pharmacies with processing prescription claims for uninsured individuals from a declared disaster area.
Once an event dictates it, the local health officer within the jurisdiction can declare that these agreements are now in effect. You should be able to answer these questions:
- How many pharmacies have signed agreements to partner with our health department? Which organizations?
- Which geographical areas do they serve? What geographical gaps exist? Are the needs of vulnerable populations anticipated and met?
- Which age groups do they serve? What are our current age gaps?
- What are their throughput rates? (How many bottles can they dispense per hour? How many patients can they vaccinate per hour?)
- Are there any pharmacies that serve unique, hard to reach populations?