Implementation of an integrated pharmacy supply management strategy

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Implementation of an integrated pharmacy supply management strategy is described.


In 2011, the formulary approval process and supply management for oncology medications were independent of each other at an oncology infusion center. Numerous nonformulary medications were kept on hand and reordered based on inventory levels that were established with inadequate usage information, while some formulary agents did not have on-hand inventory levels and had to be reordered on a patient-specific basis, which required paperwork and then a review by drug information staff per institutional policy. Because there was no true distinction in the ordering of formulary versus nonformulary oncology agents, the medical staff prescribed both in the same manner, leaving the pharmacy staff responsible for ensuring that enough quantities were on hand for many drugs, regardless of formulary status. Using supply chain management principles, a formal analysis of the on-hand inventory was performed. In addition, the formulary process for oncology drugs was restructured to align with how oncology drugs are managed for on-hand inventory levels. The alignment of these processes allowed the operation to have 1 supply strategy for the ambulatory oncology infusion center. As a result, inventory exhaustion rates were reduced by 70% and inventory turn rates improved by 78%. There was also significant time savings in the operational process streamlining, eliminating the rework and inefficiencies caused by an unclear process that was not fully captured in this assessment.


Alignment of the formulary review process with inventory analyses that support supply management principles reduced inventory exhaustion while improving inventory turn rates.

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