Working as a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer is not suitable for every individual. These individuals are assigned to manage the largest cost for the hospitals. All of them need advanced skills that take time, training and additional education to master. A hospital pharmacy buyer has many roles. These roles require skills in cost-effective procurement, understanding vendor contracts, budgets, 340B purchasing where applicable, generic forecasting, inventory management and a number of other initiatives designed to reduce drug waste and expiring medications.
Although many areas in the pharmacy have advanced and adopted many new technologies; most pharmacy procurement in hospitals and health systems is performed exactly as it was 15 years ago. We all have seen many such hospitals and health systems where inventory is in the poorest conditions. This tremendous holding cost poses significant risk to the pharmacy for waste and expired medications. Reducing holding cost and cash tied up in inventory increases net income and profitability for the pharmacy department and the hospital. Recommendations suggest that a minimum target goal of 12 recorded turns is reasonable for any hospital or health system pharmacy.
What is a 340B Drug Pricing Program?
The 340B Drug Discount Program is a U.S federal government program, which was created in 1992. It requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations/covered entities at significantly reduced prices. The purpose of the program was to allow covered bodies to "stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”
According to a research, overly broad eligibility criteria for hospitals have led to an outburst in the number of hospitals that have come into the 340B program. Today, there are approximately one-third of all hospitals in the country, which participate in the 340B program and get 340B discounts; that number is expected to grow, particularly absent an effort to tighten eligibility requirements.
Eligibility for 340B program
A hospital pharmacy buyer is defined under federal law. Six categories of hospitals are eligible to participate in the program: disproportionate share hospitals (DSHs), children’s hospitals and cancer hospitals exempt from the Medicare prospective payment system, sole community hospitals, rural referral centers, and critical access hospitals (CAH).
What should be done by a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer?
Manage the medicines - The important thing a Hospital Pharmacy Buyer should do is the management of the medicines. He should not buy more medicines, which can expire soon. Adding to it, he should not buy few medicines, which can create a shortage.
Understanding retailer contracts - If you will not understand your retailer, you will not be able to communicate. Communication is the most important thing in any transaction. A hospital pharmacy buyer should able to communicate easily with the vendor or else a great lose can happen.
Budget - Budget is always an important thing, which should be kept in mind in by every hospital pharmacy buyer. After knowing the budget, the next step is to make a list. In that list, one should write the things where he is going to use his money.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is another organization, which takes care of all the health records of pharmacy departments. American pharmacy purchasing alliance is a community, which doesn’t have any profit. It helps the hospital pharmacy buyer to buy the products and sell it. American pharmacy purchasing alliance works for their country.
Knowledge - Every hospital should increase the knowledge of their pharmacy buyer. The hospital pharmacy buyer can make the hospital touch the sky. The recruiters should keep in mind the different prospects so that they can attain success with their hospital pharmacy buyers.