Take Steps to Maximize Benefits but Minimize Problems With Consignment Meds

You can help your pharmacy optimize the benefits of keeping some inventory on consignment.

Consigning reduces money tied up in inventory because your pharmacy doesn't pay for these meds until they're needed.

But your pharmacy could be liable for costs if consignment meds are mishandled, opened but not used, or allowed to go out of date.

Plus snafus with inventory levels could cause treatment delays.

Take steps to prevent issues with consignment meds.

Ensure you know which meds are on consignment. There may be a list with this info in your stock area...or a note in your EHR.

Expect these to be less commonly used, costly meds...such as antivenom (CroFab, etc), clotting factors (NovoSeven, etc), or prothrombin complex concentrate (Kcentra, etc).

Don't be surprised if your wholesaler is closely involved in managing inventory of some consignment meds. They have a vested interest, since they still "own" the meds.

For instance, the wholesaler may provide fridges or inventory-tracking devices...to ensure med quality and monitor availability.

But still check that all meds, including consignment meds, are stored properly...and monitor beyond-use and expiration dates.

Be aware of any unique procedures with consignment meds. You may need to notify your purchaser or wholesaler when these are dispensed...to ensure they're reordered promptly. Or you may NOT need to include these meds in your pharmacy's physical inventory count.

Keep in mind, you could have supplies of the same med from both consignment AND direct purchasing. Follow your pharmacy's policies on dispensing these...such as if different lots aren't interchangeable.

Get more tips for working with consignment meds in our updated technician tutorial, The Ins and Outs of Pharmacy Inventory.

Key References

  • www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/when-consignment-is-a-crutch.html
  • www.tracelink.com/insights/how-to-handle-consignment-inventory-dscsa-answers-for-dispensers
  • www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?3632
Hospital Pharmacy Technician's Letter. Jan 2019, No. 350130

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