Background The supply of health products is a major activity for hospital pharmacists. Its complexity is based on the need to hold sufficient stock at a reasonable cost while avoiding overstocking of products and therefore money. In our institution, various systems were established to prevent expired medicines such as automated drugs distribution systems with distribution according to the best before date or the first-in first-out principle managed by a warehouse management system. Nevertheless, some drugs and medical devices expire each month.
Purpose The aim of this work has been to identify the factors responsible for the lapse in order to optimize inventory management.
Material and methods From May 2016 to July 2018, we had identified the products (name, quantity, price) removed from the stock due to lapsing in our hospital pharmacy. For each of them, we had researched the reason for expiration, and we have proposed a solution to optimize stock management.
Results Three-hundred and thirty products have been thrown away, which have represented €1 70 149 (€1 44 761 excluding refunds by suppliers). The causes encountered have been: no regular consumption (90 products; 8% of expenses); termination of use (79; 31%); products returned from services (39; 2%); emergency drugs such as antidotes (39; 27%); inadequate management of stocks (36; 8%); and other causes (47; 24%).
The two main corrective actions have been procurement inactivation (30% of cases) and decrease in security threshold (28%).
For 28% of the products, particularly pharmaceutical preparations and emergency drugs, ordering recommendations have been maintained.
Conclusion The cessation of needs represents the main item of expenditure, but one product is responsible for half of this cost (24 units at €1100 each). The amount of expenditure is probably underestimated because the price of pharmaceutical preparations (28 cases) was not charged. Having optimised the settings seems to be efficient because there is no lapse redundancy except for the little-used products for which a minimal stock must be maintained. Optimising the stock is a long term-job which requires the contribution of several stakeholders such as buyer pharmacists, supply and logistic responsible and consumers.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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