Pharmacy Inventory

Three Simple Tips for Maintaining Pharmacy Inventory Accuracy

Maintaining pharmacy inventory accuracy can often be a daunting task. An average pharmacy has well over 2000 items in their inventory and there are many opportunities for a count to be incorrect.

  • The first tip is to insist on cycle counts. Divide the inventory into three sections and assign each to a technician. If each tech verifies the count of 20 items per week the entire inventory will have been recounted twice a year. That is certainly better than having to do a complete recount.
  • Secondly, establish a policy that any time the third bottle of the same product is being placed on the shelf, the count must be verified. An incorrect order number or inventory count can result in the same product coming in day after day resulting in excess and unneeded inventory.
  • Thirdly, at least every other week run an inventory report and count any product that is valued at over $500. Sometimes the computer may list an item as in stock yet there is none or little on the shelf.

The three bottle rule ensures that the computer knows if there is excess on the shelf, the $500 report insures that what the computer thinks is on the shelf is really there, and the cycle counts will catch accumulated problems.

These simple tips will help keep your inventory accurate and spend your purchasing dollars wisely.


At IRx Consulting we are Accounting experts and offer a comprehensive Pharmacy Accounting service with a suite of complimentary services including Data Dashboards, Payroll & Human Resources and Pharmacy Management consulting.

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