Your pharmacy’s shelves aren’t going to fill themselves. 

Pharmacy inventory management has rarely seemed more precarious. There are shortages seemingly everywhere, whether you’re trying to order Ozempic or even simple antibiotics. 

Though what happens in your wholesaler’s supply chain is largely out of your hands, you can optimize your pharmacy inventory system to mitigate future shortages. 

Adaptability is the name of the pharmacy game, and pharmacy inventory is no exception. Here’s how you can optimize your pharmacy inventory. 

Know Your Resources 

They say knowing is half the battle, and it’s true with your pharmacy inventory. These resources can help you further optimize your pharmacy’s inventory. 

National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors 

You can find a list of wholesale drug distributors in your area by searching online or by contacting the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors (NAW).

Pharmacy Suppliers

Pharmacy suppliers are companies that sell a variety of pharmacy products, such as pharmacy supplies, equipment, and furniture. You can find a list of pharmacy suppliers in your area by searching online or by contacting the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

Pay Attention to Current Events 

As mentioned earlier, pharmacy inventory is in a state of flux. Medications that were once staples of your order are now missing. Products like Ozempic are taking a whole new life due to unexpected — but welcome — side effects. 

These current shortages have become the subject of national news, making it easier for you to stay informed. However, shortages have already reached a fever pitch by the time they hit the news cycle. 

Bookmark pharmacy-related publications and news sites, such as: 

Be even more proactive by keeping your ear to the ground. Visit and bookmark the FDA’s Drug Shortage database to be aware of the latest drug shortages as they happen.

Will this prevent your pharmacy from running out of a certain drug? Not always, but it gives you a fighting chance while you figure out a long-term solution. 

Visit our Pharmacy Laws & Regulations page for more industry-related current events. 

Also, subscribe to the NextWave Pharmacy Newsletter for company announcements, new software feature updates, and even more industry-related current events. 

Here are some additional tips for purchasing inventory and supplies for your pharmacy:

Create a Budget

Owning a pharmacy means you’re running a business — and businesses need to make money to stay afloat. There’s also the adage that you need to spend money to make money. Such is the case of pharmacy inventory. 

Creating a budget for your pharmacy inventory is essential. A budget helps you track your pharmacy’s spending and — hopefully — prevent overspending.

Not only does having a budget help with your pharmacy inventory management, but it’s a vital part of nearly all of your pharmacy’s operations. 

Visit the “Open a Pharmacy” for more tips on getting your pharmacy off the ground. 

Know Your Preferred Manufacturers 

Sometimes trial and error is the best way to go. When purchasing inventory and supplies, it is important to shop around and compare prices. You may be able to save money by purchasing from different suppliers.

It’s also important to stay consistent with what manufacturers you’re ordering from. Not only does this make ordering more consistent for your pharmacy, but it also makes it convenient for your patients. Consistent orders give your patients peace of mind that their preferred brand of thyroid or blood pressure medications will be in stock. 

Utilize PioneerRx 

As you already know, your pharmacy management system is a key component to your pharmacy’s success. Your software shapes your workflow and your pharmacy’s other daily operations. Such is the case with your pharmacy inventory. 

Luckily, PioneerRx has you and your pharmacy covered. 

Your pharmacy likely has a mental list of manufacturers from which you order, whether it’s because they’re more cost-effective or patients generally prefer that NDC. 

Either way, you have a preferred manufacturer and consistently order from them. PioneerRx’s Recommended Order feature creates a personalized list of medications to order based on your ordering history. 

This makes pharmacy inventory management a breeze, allowing you to focus on more urgent tasks while also keeping your pharmacy shelves stocked. 

Check out our blog, “7 PioneerRx Features to Grow Your Pharmacy’s Profitability,” to learn more about how PioneerRx can further your pharmacy. 

Keep Your Inventory Up to Date

Another necessary element of pharmacy inventory consistently updating it. While PioneeRx does update your inventory after order deliveries and prescription fills, it’s essential to go in and check for yourself. 

Trust, but verify is the name of the game here. Check your inventory — from counting how many amoxicillin capsules are left in that 500-count bottle to the maze of your refrigerator’s insulin products. This will only make your help your pharmacy inventory management and make annual inventory checks less of a headache. 

Look Out For Your Deadstock

Pharmacy inventory management not only concerns what you order — it’s also about what you don’t order. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s best to stay consistent with your pharmacy’s ordering. Sure, seasonal occasions like cold and flu season warrant larger quantities of certain medications, but the rest of your inventory should remain intact. 

Then we get to those bottles that aren’t flying off your shelves. They’re gathering dust either because no insurance program covers them or they come from an out-of-network manufacturer. In either case, these bottles need to go. 

That shelf space is prime real estate. If you know that bottle is not going away anytime soon, ship it away. You’ll likely get reimbursed for it (certain restrictions apply) and you can fill that space with other medications that’ll fly off your shelves. 


The art of pharmacy inventory management is an essential one. Effective pharmacy inventory management ensures you’re operating your pharmacy as efficiently as possible. 

Know what your patients prefer, create a budget, leverage your pharmacy technology like PioneerRx, and manage your deadstock. Doing so will take your pharmacy’s inventory and workflow to the next level. 

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