Department: Pharmacy

Bed Size Classification








< 49 Licensed Beds

 50 - 99 Licensed Beds

 100 - 199 Licensed Beds

200 - 299 Licensed Beds

 300 - 399 Licensed Beds

400 - 499 Licensed Beds

500+ Licensed Beds

Inventory Amount








Typical Inventory Turns

A typical Pharmacy Department turns its inventory 10 - 14 times per year. This translates to having between 26.1 and 36.5 day's on-hand worth of inventory (calculated as: 365 annual days divided by 10 or 14 inventory turns). A companion benchmark for typical inventory values and inventory turns is the Eli Lilly Study of Pharmacy Departmental Operations.

Targeted Pharmacy Inventory

Pharmacy Managers are, typically, constantly striving to keep as little slow-moving inventory on their shelves as possible. They accomplish this task by:

Factors To Consider Concerning Pharmacy

1. A majority of Pharmacy Information Systems will print and track a Pharmacy's inventory via bar codes.

2. Pharmacy wholesalers donate, or will agree to lease at their cost, bar code readers in order to track products in inventory and expedite the ordering process. This also creates loyalty between the hospital and that wholesaler.

3. The Pharmacy Information System is rarely interfaced to the Materials Management Information System or the Hospital's Accounts Payable financial system.

4. Pharmacy wholesalers operate on razor-thin margins and can, therefore, offer hospitals cost-plus arrangements ranging from 3% to as low as 0.5%.

5. Some wholesalers offer cost plus 0% when total purchases exceed a given threshold or average invoice pre-payments are made.

6. As the number of pharmaceutical companies and wholesaler consolidations/mergers increases, a growing trend is toward a "super wholesaler", who provides a majority of products (medical, surgical and pharmaceutical) needed throughout the hospital.

7. Every major Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) has current contracts for drugs & drug products.

8. Most GPO's require participation in the Pharmacy Program in order to access pricing in the Capital Equipment, Medical/Surgical, Laboratory, Radiology or Dietary Programs.

9. As much as we don't want to admit it, theft & pilferage still occurs in many in many pharmacies. It's called "drug diversion" and is illegal, but prosecution is not often pursued by hospitals.

10. "Point of use" inventory control cabinets, such as those sold by PYXIS, Omnicell and others, work best with controlled substances and other pharmaceuticals. They are very difficult to cost-justify for routine med/surg items and/or I.V. solutions.

11. The total number of outsourced Pharmacy Departments is on the rise.

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