Pharmacy Inventory Management 101

In an average pharmacy, 80 cents of every dollar that is generated goes toward one thing, purchasing inventory. That is why inventory management is one of the most important aspects of managing a pharmacy. Following are a few basic tips that you may find helpful.

  • The number one goal of inventory is to have what MOST people need. A sure fire way to lose customers is to continually be out of stock which results in a major inconvenience. On the other hand if you are the owner that takes pride in having what no one else has or always stocks seldom used items, you are destined to have cash flow problems since all of your money is now on your shelves. Remember the goal, have what MOST people need.
  • Do everything you can to remove slow movers from your inventory. A slow mover is anything that has not sold in the last 100 days. An average store may have as much of 20% of the inventory in this category. Each week you should generate a report identifying items that can be returned or if your computer system can not supply this information, you can simply comb the shelves and look for full bottles with a purchase date prior to three months. It doesn’t take as long as you think and it could free up considerable cash. While the textbooks will teach you that inventory turns is the standard measurement of inventory efficiency, concentrate on slow movers and the turns will take care of themselves.
  • Utilizing med synch can benefit your pharmacy in many ways, increased compliance, better payroll management, and many more. However one of the greatest benefits is inventory management. Having the ability to predict when high dollar prescriptions are to be filled and ordering the item a few days ahead can greatly decrease your inventory.
  • Lastly dedicate time to keep your inventory accurate. An average pharmacy may have around 2,000 items in stock. Without a system to insure the counts are correct, it is inevitable that you will end up having to count all 2,000.



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