Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Skyrocketing inpatient hospital drug costs have forced pharmacy leaders to be creative in pharmaceutical spend control. The purpose of this project was to assess the impact of a strategic inventory stewardship program led by an inventory management specialist and senior pharmacy technicians on annual pharmaceutical drug spend, on hand inventory value, and inventory turnover rate over a three year period. The primary endpoint was reduction in annual pharmaceutical drug spend. Secondary endpoints were changes in on hand inventory value and inventory turnover rate over a three year period. The projected reduction was ten percent from 2015 to 2018.
Methods: The pharmacy department has thirty-seven full time equivalents, including thirteen pharmacy technicians. The technician staff were tasked with saving ten percent of the pharmacy annual drug spend ($900,000) from 2015 to 2018. The inventory management specialist and senior technicians established internal initiatives (for example, perpetual inventory software implementation; pharmacy formulary streamlining; therapeutic interchanges; drug cost monitoring; unit-dose strip packing outsourcing; quarterly review of automated dispensing machine usage levels and expiration dating; Central Pharmacy/IV room par level enhancement; and a NDC substitution program) to ensure adequate stock of formulary medications, optimize patient care through inventory control, and budget stewardship. Drug costs were calculated using wholesaler and inventory vendor biannual reports. Daily drug expenditures were entered on an Excel spreadsheet and characterized by primary and secondary vendors. The information was forwarded to the Pharmacy Director on a monthly basis for analysis. Changes in the primary and secondary endpoints were described with descriptive statistics.
Results: The annual pharmaceutical spend decreased by $1.4 million, resulting in a 17 percent cost savings during the three year period. The initiatives associated with the largest reductions in pharmaceutical drug spend were perpetual inventory software implementation ($545,000), pharmacy formulary streamlining ($300,000), and automated dispensing machine usage level adjustment ($284,000). For the same time period, the on-hand inventory value was reduced by $593,000, a 42% reduction. The inventory turnover rate increased from 5.5 to 10.5 turns from 2015 to 2018.
Conclusion: Pharmacy technician led inventory stewardship efforts can assist in the reduction of pharmaceutical drug spend via perpetual inventory software implementation; changes in on-hand inventory value via pharmacy formulary streamlining; and inventory turnover rate via automated dispensing machine usage level adjustment. Technicians can be instrumental in prioritizing strategies, highlighting inefficient processes, and improving inventory management.