Challenge #3: Pharmacies face increasing pressure to control drug spend
By 2022, according to one estimate, the specialty drug spend will reach $248 billion per year and account for more than half of all pharmaceutical costs.* Pharmacies feel the pinch because of the high upfront expenses, and because demand for these drugs remains unpredictable.
“Hospitals are under pressure to control costs across the board, and specialty pharmaceuticals compound that challenge," said James Roof, national director of Consignment for Cardinal Health Specialty Pharmaceutical Distribution.
Solution: Use a consignment model to reduce inventory carrying costs
Good inventory management is the key to controlling costs around specialty pharmaceuticals, Roof said, and he recommended using the "consignment model" as a simple and practical solution. Such a model, he explained to Becker's Hospital Review, allows organizations to reallocate their budget that was previously tied up in high-value inventory.
"Health systems only pay for the products they use, which helps minimize risk and account for high-cost, variable demand products," Roof said. He added that the best consignment programs rely on storage systems that use cloud-based computing and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to automate inventory management and drive efficiency.
According to Roof: "Once you're set up, it practically runs itself." That means you, as the pharmacist, can focus on patient care."
*The 2018-19 Economic Report on Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Specialty Distributors, Drug Channels Institute