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A Quick Inventory Management Guide for Your Pharmacy

If you own a pharmacy, you are well aware of the fact that inventory is the biggest expense, and the success of the business hinges on the way that it’s managed. Here are a few tips on how to effectively manage your pharmacy inventory.

1. Know what you have.

You are probably already pretty aware of the supplies that you have, but doing a physical check once or twice a year will help you get a firmer idea of your inventory. It will also allow you to match up your orders to what you actually need, make sure your products are fresh, and discover any possible shrinkage. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, you can always train a trusted staff member to ensure that your records match what’s actually in your inventory.

2. Keep track of the inventory system.

Even though the computerized inventory systems take care of ordering new supplies as they’re sold to make sure the supply stays updated, they still need some tweaking.

For example, if a successful generic replacement of a popular drug has been developed, physicians may not prescribe as much of the name-brand version. And as different supplements rise and fall in popularity, the public’s taste will change. Continue to compare your inventory with the present demand to make sure that you have a good amount of what’s popular, and not too much of what’s unpopular.

3. Manage expensive medications.

To keep expenses down, try and keep the supply of expensive drugs as low as you can. Take a certain hepatitis C drug, for example - it can cost as much as $30,000. Even having the drug on-site can increase your costs in a big way.

You can minimize the supply of expensive drugs by using next-day delivery from distributors and working with your patients to manage their refills.

4. Keep a good amount of popular items in stock.

You’ll want to make sure that you have enough over-the-counter medications in stock that are in high demand. These items move quickly, so it’s important to manage them accordingly.

5. Keep an eye on expiration dates.

Regarding most items, you probably don’t want more than a week’s supply on hand - this way, they won’t expire and go to waste. Assign a staff member the job of keeping track of the items that are close to their expiration date so that they don’t slip through the cracks.


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