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The Reverse Distribution Industry facilitates a cumbersome component of the supply chain and has served the pharmaceutical industry efficiently and effectively by managing and accounting for their expired returns and associated credits. But the real boon from the Reverse Distribution Industry to the pharmacy industry just may be the beneficial by-product – DATA!

In order 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 the 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.

Returnable manifests identify potential recovery for products that have aged out on the pharmacy shelf and can no longer be dispensed.  Recurring products appearing here may suggest overstocking or poor inventory rotation that can be targeted for improvement. These items will have recoverable value but, in some cases, may have tied up pharmacy resources that perhaps could have been better managed.

Indates represent products that are being pulled from the shelves while still saleable, possibly reflecting changes in formulary or shelf space concerns. They too have potential recovery value but will need to be held until they are eligible for return, again tying up pharmacy resources for long periods of time.

But for most pharmacy environments, the most valuable information comes from the non-returnable manifest, and the reasons these products have been deemed ineligible. This segment of the return data represents financial loss on the part of the pharmacy, as these items have no recoverable value. This is where vulnerabilities and waste trends, and their associated costs can be readily spotted and addressed.

For example, a recurring high volume of partially dispensed product can be indicative of inventory or dispensary practices that need improvement. These practices can be changed to reduce the number of opened units or unsealed packages, while still meeting the normal consumption needs of the pharmacy.

Similarly, manufacturers that are found to have very short eligibility windows, very restrictive terms regarding product conditions, or no expired returns policy at all, can be easily identified and alternate sources of their products may be considered.

Get your DATA in the convenient GRx customer portal.