Pharmaceutical Returns data – There’s an APP(lication) for that!

Pharmacist reviewing pharmaceutical returns data

William Edwards Deming, once said, “The ultimate purpose of collecting the data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation.” And we wholeheartedly agree.

Pharmaceutical returns are all about data

To successfully move a customer’s expired pharmaceutical returns from processing to credit, it is necessary to compile a continuous data thread for each returned item, linking the returning facility, their wholesaler program, the product detail, the product’s manufacturer, and the resulting credit.

At each touch point, unique identifiers are assigned that tie all collected data to the returning facility. This ensures that the hundreds of thousands of credits issued for expired pharma products returned under each processing cycle are allocated correctly for ultimate distribution to the pharmacy. It also amasses a huge volume of data.

Data is a fortunate by-product of the pharmaceutical returns process. And as a result, GRx is uniquely positioned to compile and provide valuable data (and a basis for action/recommendation) to your pharmacy operation.

Here’s a real-life example of pharmaceutical returns data that provided the basis for action, changed how our customer operates and saved substantial money.

A review of a customer’s returns data showed non-returnable estimated values that were higher than their returnable estimated values. This observation suggested a disproportionate amount of waste may be taking place.  This warranted a closer look at the Non-Returnables report, specifically we examined the Top Reason Codes for Non-Returnables report.

Top Reason Codes Report

The Top Reason Codes Report revealed that partial quantity returns were the primary reason for the large non-returnable numbers. Partial returns are often deemed non-returnable because they aren’t full and sealed as required by some vendors’ return policies. On this particular return, the partial, credit-ineligible returns were valued at $250,000, a tremendous cost to the facility.

But how is this data actionable? It isn’t, not yet.

Next, we drilled down into the product level data and filtered by NDC#.  This revealed a 10ML vial of product that was being returned in very large quantities and at 3/4 full levels. It seemed that the facility was opening a new 10ML vial for each patient dose, but only dispensing 2.5ML from each vial. Keep in mind that the vendor’s policy for this product did not permit the return of partials for credit.

Further review revealed that this same product from the same vendor was available in 3ML vials (at the same cost per ML as the 10ML vial). While the facility still needed to dispense the same amount of medicine per patient dose, by purchasing the product in smaller 3ML vials, they could dispose of less per dose, and overall reduce their net spend on this product by 70%. This was a Win-Win for the facility and pharmacy staff, and all it took was using the data and some legwork.

Pharmaceutical returns data and analytics are readily accessible and available to customers via our secure Customer Portal. Returns data can be valuable business intelligence that can showcase opportunities, vulnerabilities, and future trends.

Your data. Our portal. A winning strategy.

Please contact us to learn more.