There’s a pharmacy on nearly every corner. How do so many pharmacies stay in business? They must make a profit by managing inventory. Here are a few guidelines every pharmacy should follow.
Pharmacies need to use technology to stay ahead of competitors. There are three main methods of doing inventory. The first is a visual system where the pharmacist surveys the stock and orders accordingly. This inventory method fails to take into account important things like anticipated demand. Next, there’s a periodic system where inventory happens at intervals. The last method is the perpetual system. Inventory is ongoing in the perpetual system and requires the use of inventory software. Effective Pharmacy Inventory Solutions must include software. In addition, inventory management software makes the whole pharmacy more efficient.
Planning Ahead for New Drugs
New drugs are released every day. If the drug helps people, physicians start writing prescriptions immediately. Pharmacies need to have a strategic plan to deal with new drugs. Many pharmacies have physicians on their boards to guide them with new releases. Indeed, having too much of the drug would be as bad as not having it. Drug salespeople are also reliable sources to determine the importance of a new release.
Real-Life Consequences For Mishandling Inventory
Mishandling inventory can mean the death of a patient. The situation would also affect the reputation of the pharmacy. For instance, be sure of the suppliers you do business with. Independent pharmacies are often conned by secondary suppliers. The result could be a supply of counterfeit drugs. Further, many drugs need to be refrigerated. Therefore, each pharmacy must have guidelines for getting these drugs off the truck and into the refrigerator. Many drugs need to be at the proper temperature to be effective.
Check for Expired or Dead Drugs
Dead drugs remain on the shelves because no one buys them. There may be some new wonder drug that renders the other medications obsolete. Inventory software keeps track of drugs that are expired and those that aren’t requested. Pharmacies lose money when they continue to order drugs that aren’t in demand. Consider giving the pharmacy technicians a reward for keeping track of drugs that are about to expire. Many drugs can be returned to the manufacturer for a refund.
In addition, pharmacies should never stockpile any one drug. Never tie up money in the inventory because this leads to cash flow problems. Inventory management software is a valuable tool to prevent overcrowded shelves.
Have Enough Inventory
Pharmacists should know what medicines are considered base stock. The pharmacy receives prescription orders for certain drugs daily. For example, a hefty stock of antibiotics should be available. Different antibiotics work for different conditions, so a variety is needed. A pharmacy will lose money if they don’t have basic items like antibiotics and maintenance drugs. Maintenance drugs are the items routinely ordered by consumers every month. This includes diabetes and hypertension medicines.
Stay on top of drug recalls. The pharmacy must anticipate what the substitute drugs will be. Make sure the substitute drugs are available so consumers don’t walk out the door. Be aware, a recall may cause a shortage of substitute drugs.
Pharmacies must use technology, including software, for inventory management and drug safety. The old days of doing everything by hand are long gone. A pharmacy is a place where human errors can result in bad outcomes.