What is Reverse Distribution

Reverse Distribution involves collecting and removing either damaged, outdated, unsold, or recalled inventory. With the range of reverse distribution services available today, it can sometimes be challenging to determine which ones may be right for your pharmacy. 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:

1. Onsite Service:

Pull, prepare, and package
Trained and licensed representatives from a pharmaceutical returns company come on-site to: pull returns from your shelves, complete required paperwork, and pack up your returns shipment for pick up by the carrier.

  • Benefit: A “done-for-you” service that saves you and your team from hours of pulling products and completing the paperwork so you can focus on patient care.

2. Box & Ship 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: A great, lower-cost option if your pharmacy team prefers to 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 quickly—within 14 days from the day your product arrives at our facility. Using our ROI Calculator and enter either your average scripts per day or yearly pharmacy spend, to see how much you can save with our Rapid Credit Program.

  • Benefit: An excellent way for your pharmacy to boost cash flow quickly—with reduced reconciliation time—instead of waiting up to 24 months, the industry standard. Additionally, the risk of a decrease in return value (due to changes in manufacturer policies) is transferred from your pharmacy to the reverse distribution company.

Assistance With Managing Your Pharmacy’s Inventory

Inventory Management Services:

Your pharmacy can receive complete inventory assistance. Experienced, credentialed crew members will come on-site to complete a full, physical inventory for your pharmacy.

  • Benefit: A “done-for-you” service that saves you and your pharmacy staff from hours of tracking and cataloging products, so you are free to focus on patient care and customer service.

Additional Services

Additional services are available depending on the capabilities of the pharmaceutical returns company, and can include:

Consumer drug take-back services:

The pharmaceutical returns company helps your pharmacy 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 pharmacy team.

Some pharmacies may want to reduce the time spent on pulling and packing products to be returned for credit. In this case, an Onsite Service for drug returns may be ideal.

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

In cases where a pharmacy seeks assistance managing inventory while serving a large or growing customer base, the team is likely to benefit from comprehensive Inventory Management Services.

Whatever the needs of your specific pharmacy, you’ll want to be sure that the drug return company you choose offers services to meet those needs in an easy and cost-effective way.

To learn more about reverse distribution services download the Pharmacy Technician Handbook today.