Expired products that are waiting to be returned can be vulnerable, but there’s a tool that helps make them less so…

Pharmacist scanning medicine bottle with barcode scanner in pharmacy

Most pharmacies set aside space to collect expired drugs waiting to be returned. In our experience all pharmacies have the same goals for safeguarding their waiting pharmaceutical returns.

  1. To ensure that expired or unsaleable products don’t get put back into saleable inventory
  2. To account for and secure expired products so they don’t fall victim to theft or diversion

Naturally, to meet these goals, each pharmacy develops their own internal inventory protocols. Some pharmacies secure both controlled and noncontrolled drugs being held for return in a locked area separate from regular pharmacy inventory. Some have a bin in which they place their returns; sometimes the bin is locked but often is it open for convenience of dropping in expired returns.  The bin may be in a back room or even attached to a wall surface.

In addition to a designated holding area, requiring staff to keep a list of what is being placed in the expired returns is considered best practice. Some keep a running hand-written list and some tally it up before they return it. Others rely on the reverse distributor to provide an inventory of what products have been sent back for credit determination.

In addition to what you are currently doing, you may want to consider using an inventory tool to facilitate your pharmaceutical returns protocols and safeguard your product until it is boxed and shipped to the reverse distributor.  Using an inventory tool helps prevent discrepancies and keeps you in compliance with internal accounting and inventory requirements.

We offer a convenient, secure online inventory tool, Returns on the Web (ROW) that lets you document your unscheduled and scheduled return products before they leave your facility, both as a means to account for what physically gets returned and, once it is processed at GRx, to validate your manifest data.

ROW offers:

  • 24/7 accessibility
  • No imposed time limits – you can pause and restart your inventory count at any time. Your work (called a session) is kept open in the portal until an RA and shipping labels have been generated for the return. This closes the session.
  • Once closed, each return session is saved and available to view or print for a period of 3 years.  
  • USB Scanner compatible for added entry convenience
  • Printable Reports
  • CII Inventories can be generated from DEA 222 Form requests  
  • Preprinted Return Authorization forms, Box labels and prepaid FedEx shipping labels (for Mail-In customers)

At GRx, all team members are dedicated to 100% satisfaction in every aspect of the returns experience. To learn more about ROW, please visit our website or call us at 1.800.473.2138.