NPI Number? Of Course, I Don’t Have One!
NPI stands for National Prescriber Identification, which is a number assigned to each person eligible to prescribe for Medicare or Medicaid patients. Since animals aren’t eligible for Medicare/Medicaid, and veterinarians are only allowed to prescribe for animals, veterinarians are not legally allowed to have an NPI number.
While this explanation isn’t terribly complicated, most pharmacists have no idea what an NPI number actually is. It can also cause problems with discount cards as some require entering the prescriber’s NPI number.
The next time a pharmacist asks for an NPI number, share the brief explanation above about why veterinarians don’t have them. You may just be the person who keeps that pharmacist from asking again.
If you still have problems, you can provide the statement from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy: nabp.pharmacy/newsroom/news/veterinarians-not-eligible-for-npis-cms-clarifies/.
Hard to Find Drugs
We often get asked what we are doing when medications are on back order, and sometimes we have managed to find sources for these scarce medications. Here are a few current problematic drugs and where we are getting them:
- Keppra ER 500mg Tablets: We are able to get from MWI
- Neo/Poly/Dex O.O.: We are able to get from our human wholesaler McKesson, so outside pharmacies should be able to obtain this medication
By Lauren Forsythe, PharmD, DICVP, FSVHP