Aims of the service

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Chapter: Hospital pharmacy : Purchasing medicines

Obtaining medicines from manufacturers, wholesalers and short-line stores is an essential part of the pharmacy service. Medicine purchasing needs to be carried out with probity and to be undertaken efficiently.


Aims of the service

 

Obtaining medicines from manufacturers, wholesalers and short-line stores is an essential part of the pharmacy service. Medicine purchasing needs to be carried out with probity and to be undertaken efficiently. There are conflicting demands on the service: to avoid failing to meet a patient’s need but also avoiding excessive stock within the pharmacy. Too large a stock holding means that trust money is tied up in an asset; high stock levels may also lead to waste and will require more space than would a reasonable stock level; there is also a risk that a change in clinical practice could lead to wastage. The average stock holding for a hospital pharmacy has been estimated at approximately 1 month’s supply, a stock turnover of about 12 times per year. Although there may be pressure on hospital pharmacies to decrease stock holding and thus increase turnover, the decrease in value of asset needs to be balanced against increased costs to place orders and clear invoices, as well as the risk of ‘stock outs’

 

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