2 Apr 2020
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How to Protect Your Supply Chain from Shortages

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak highlights potential vulnerabilities in both drug supply chain and clinical infrastructure. What are the ways you can protect your supply chain from shortages?

To improve transparency in the supply chain and to ensure contingency plans are in place to mitigate disruptions that can result in drug shortages, the following solutions from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), enable safer and more consistent drug manufacturing:

•Require manufacturers to provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with more information on the causes of shortages and their expected durations and allow public reporting of this information
•Require manufacturers to publicly disclose manufacturing sites, including use of contract manufacturers, and sources of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)
•Require manufacturers to conduct periodic risk assessments of their supply chains and establish contingency plans to maintain the supply of a drug in the event of a manufacturing disruption
•Require the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a risk assessment of national security threats associated with the manufacturing and distribution of critical drugs
•Incentivize domestic, advanced manufacturing capacity

Although these solutions highlight the needs of the federal government to safeguard drug supply, how can you as an independent pharmacy prepare for COVID-19? By now, you’ve probably seen photos of empty store shelves that use to carry toilet paper, water bottles, canned goods, and pasta. Panic-buying is an emotional comfort and sense of security to consumers in times of crisis. You can help soothe their fears by making sure your shelves are fully stocked and shift your inventory to their current and future needs.

Studies show the retail prices for 460 prescription drugs are increasing in 2020. Take a look at several popular prescription medications that many older Americans commonly use:

•Humira, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, up 7.4 percent
•Revlimid, used to treat cancer, up 6 percent
•Benicar, used to treat high blood pressure, up 5 percent
•Januvia, used to help control Type 2 diabetes, up 4.9 percent
•Lyrica, used to treat nerve and muscle pain, up 4.9 percent
•Keytruda, used to treat cancer, up 1.5 percent

Click here for the complete list of current and resolved drug shortages and discontinuations reported to the FDA and the full list of drug shortages. For the most current supply information, contact the manufacturers. Then think to yourself if your pharmacy is prepared to handle the high demands in today’s current environment.

Maintaining your pharmacy inventory, keeping the right medications in stock, and being prepared for the future is more crucial now than ever. Datarithm® is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential. Contact our team and learn how our cloud-based inventory management software can help you streamline operations, reduce expenses, increase profits, and improve cash flow and liquidity for your pharmacy. Invest in Datarithm® today.