Medical store keeping and systems for arranging medicines

Medical store is a room where medicines are kept under lock and key for the security and safety of medicines and medical supplies. It is an area set aside into which all the items and materials required for production, sale/distribution are received, where they are housed for safekeeping, and from which they will be issued as required. Also refers to a service department headed by a store-keeper who is responsible for a proper storage, protection and issuing of all kinds of material.
Medical store is a room where medicines are kept under lock and key for the security

The functions of a storekeeper

To organize medicines and medical supplies in a store and maintaining storage condition.
To keep and maintain proper records of medicines and medical supplies

To select and determine items and quantities to be ordered as per requirements
To receive items in a store, arranging them properly and issue them as required

Common systems for arranging medicines in a store

Alphabetical by generic name: the medicines are arranged in the shelves according to their alphabetical names, e.g. medicines starting with A- Albendazole, Amoxicillin, Aminophylline, Ampicillin, with B- Bisacodyl, Bisoprol.

Pharmacological/therapeutic: this is a classification or grouping of medicines with similar pharmacological effects, for examples all Analgesics are grouped together, or Anti-bacterial grouped together.

Dosage form: this is a system of classifying medicines based on dosage forms used in stores, for example Tablets and capsules are stored together, a separated area or location is reserved for say oral liquids, Injections, creams and Ointments etc.

Frequency of use: frequently used products that move quickly or often through the store should be placed in the front of the room or closest to the staging area. This system should be used in combination with another system

Random bin: Is a unique storage space identified by a Code. For example, a shelving unit can be divided vertically and horizontally into cells, each with a unique location code. (Identifies a specific storage space or cell with a code that corresponds to its aisle, shelf, and position on the shelf. This system requires computer automation.)

Commodity coding: this system is based on a unique article code combined with a unique location code. For example therapeutic class/clinical indication in certain location name; For example item A with a number 01300 7544 i.e.01300 item Code, and 7544 location code.
Commodity code offers maximum flexibility and can be used equally well in small and large stores. 
The system is based on a unique article code combined with a unique location code. Article codes can be designed to specify therapeutic class, clinical indication, level of use, or any other relevant data. Location code can also specify specific characteristics such as storage temperature, security level, flammability, pack size and dosage form.
In systems that use article coding and location coding, storekeeping staff do not need to have specific knowledge of pharmaceutical names and therapeutic uses.

Supplies should be arranged according to:

First expiry/first out (FEFO)
Supplies which expire first should be in front and be issued first in preference to those with longer expiry dates

First in first out (FIFO)
Always issue first those medicines which have been in the store the longest
In order to avoid accumulation of expired and obsolete stock, items should be stored and issued on a FIFO or FEFO basis:

The stock control system must record the expiry date and the date of receipt;
Stock must be stored so that the earliest expiring or first delivered batches are picked and issued first.

It is common practice for stock to be allocated by a designated officer who determines the quantity and batch from which to pick the order.


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