One of the major challenges facing community and hospital pharmacy practice worldwide is how to prevent drugs from getting pass expiring date before sales or dispensing. It is very difficult to prevent this. It is highly recommended that all staffs work hand in hand in confronting this head long. This is because expired drugs in shelves cannot be sold according to the laws of the land and prove as economic waste to the owner. It is possible to reduce the loss through expired drugs to the nearest minimum. Here are some ways it can be curb.
How To Avoid Expired Drugs In Shelves!
As A New community pharmacy:
Let us assume you are a new start-up in a community pharmacy. It is important you buy only drugs that are needed in the area. As a start-up, it will be difficult to know the drugs in demand. This is especially more pronounced when the pharmacist in charge have not work in a community pharmacy within that area. It is advisable to work for some months in a closebypharmacy to get an idea the drugs in circulation in that area and know how fast they are selling. This will aid in knowing the right quantity to buy that will be exhausted before the end of the date it is to expire.
Your location matters too. A community pharmacy close to the hospital should do well to stock drugs the hospital always prescribe and not just any product. Note that the drugs change with time because as new doctors come, they change prescription.
First stocking should be bit by bits even if the money to stock large quantities is there. This way, you get to know the drugs that are selling fast and the slow moving ones.
After buying each stock, it is important to check the date a drug will expire before returning them to the shelf. Some suppliers can supply same brand if drug with different date of expiry when they are more than one. That calls for checking each product date of expiry. However, that is not needed if the drugs all come in a sealed package as they all will have same date of expiry.
Use Of Software:
The date of expiry of each brand should be entered into a software that can help track down about to expire drugs. Different softwares have different means of notifying the pharmacist. However, there are sometimes a new stock may have a close date than an old stock. To prevent the system from keeping the old date which will fail to alert the pharmacist on the last stock, the new date is set as the product date of expiry. This way, all the old and new stock will carry the latest date. However, after selling the the new stock will close expiry, the system will still place the pharmacist at alert even for the far dated products. This is far better than leaving it like that with the far date.
How pharmacist can prevent drugs from getting pass expiring date in shelves
Shelving is another very important thing. As new stocks come, old stocks are suppose to be place at the front or top so that they can be as out first. This is known as first in, first out (FIFO). However, this is not feasible all the time. Just as we have said before, some new stock have a close date than the old stocks. In this case, the new drugs ought to be placed in front or at the top for them to be sold out first. When the reverse is the case, the old drugs must be put at the front or at the top of the shelve.
Lastly, pharmacist have the flexibility of recommending drugs based on many factors. This include cost, efficacy, dosage form, etc. The pharmacist can look at all this and figure out the best drug of choice. The pharmacist can as well dispense the drugs with close date to remove them before they expire on the shelves. But the rule of thumb is the last dose should not exceed the date the drug is to expiry.
References & adaptation:-
Shelf life vs. expiration date on medication: https://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/2013/04/shelf_life_vs_expiration_date.html
Drug Expiration Dates – Are Expired Drugs Still Safe to Take? https://www.drugs.com/article/drug-expiration-dates.html