What is Reverse Distribution?

Reverse Distribution involves collecting and removing either damaged, outdated, unsold, or recalled inventory from your hospital pharmacy. With the range of reverse distribution services available today, it can sometimes be challenging to determine which ones may be right for you. The following is a brief overview of the types of services available for expired pharmaceutical product returns.

Two Types of Reverse Distribution

There are two core reverse distributions services for returns of expired pharmaceuticals:

On-site Service:

Prepare, and package

Trained and licensed representatives from a pharmaceutical returns company come on site to complete required paperwork, prepare controls and ensure proper packing of your returns shipment for pick up by the carrier.

Benefit: A “done-for-you” service that saves you and your team time and energy so you can focus on patient care.

Off-Site or Mail-In Service

Your pharmacy can choose to manually pack and ship its own returns directly to the pharmaceutical returns company, who provides the boxes and labels in advance.

Benefit: An on your own schedule, lower-cost option if your hospital pharmacy team prefers to limit vendor interruptions prepare and send in their own pharmaceutical returns.

Expedited Credit for Drug Returns

Some pharmaceutical reverse distributors offer an option for expediting the process of receiving credit for your returned pharmaceutical items.

Rapid Credit Program

Your pharmacy can receive credits for returned items faster than the industry standard 6-12 months.  With Pharma Logistics’ Rapid Credit Program specifically, the turnaround time is 14 days from the day your product arrives at our facility.

Benefit: An excellent way for your hospital to boost cash flow.  Plus, Pharma Logistics assumes any risk of decreased return value (due to changes in manufacturer policies).

Additional Services

Additional services depend on the capabilities of the pharmaceutical returns company, and can include:

Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Easily and properly dispose of your pharmaceutical waste alongside your creditable pharmaceutical returns.

Benefit: Ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations for returns and disposal while helping to reduce the risk of harm to people, animals and the environment.

Online Analytics

You want a partner who will provide actionable insights into your drug returns process. This includes knowing exactly where your credit is in the return process and how much you can expect to collect, among other things.

Benefit: Drive hospital pharmacy process improvements through efficient and effective data reporting tools to help build business intelligence and make better decisions

Consumer Drug Take-Back Services

The pharmaceutical returns company helps your hospital coordinate a community “drug take-back” program. Consumers are encouraged to safely dispose of unwanted pharmaceutical products.

Benefit: Helps protect your community from prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning; reduces the dangers of pharmaceutical waste through environmentally safe disposal.

Choosing a Service: Your Choice of Drug Return Company Matters

Generally, the services—and drug return company—you choose will depend on the needs of your hospital pharmacy.

Some hospitals may want to reduce the time spent by staff on reverse distribution. In this case, an Onsite Service for drug returns may be ideal.

Hospital pharmacies that simply want a quick, convenient way to ship returnable items themselves, may opt for a Box & Ship service instead.

Whatever the needs of your specific hospital, you’ll want to be sure that the drug return company you choose offers services options to meet those needs and actionable data to drive business improvements.

To learn more about Pharma Logistics’ can partner with your hospital to drive pharmacy improvement, check out our Why Pharma for Hospitals literature.