Abstract: Inefficient drug sample inventory management in healthcare clinics results in over $2.2 billion worth of drug samples being wasted in the United States every year. Pharmaceutical sales representatives are largely responsible for the forecasting, ordering, and delivery of drug samples in healthcare clinics. Thus, drug samples are a form of vendor-managed inventory, which requires inventory information sharing in order to be effective. A quasi-experimental study was conducted in order to assess the impact of information sharing on drug sample inventory management efficiency in healthcare clinics. A proprietary dataset of anonymized inventory transactions detailing the inflow and outflow of 19,400 drug samples, as well as the access data of said inventory information by pharmaceutical sales representatives was obtained from CheckSamples, a leading drug sample inventory management platform. Data collection took place during the nine month period from November 2016 to July 2017, covering multiple US-based clinics located in rural and urban settings, which range in size from single practitioners to clinics with over ten practitioners. Results indicate that information sharing improves inventory management efficiency, measured by average days in inventory, inventory days of supply, and dispense-through rate, by about 65% on average. Based on these results, information sharing in the context of drug samples holds the potential to generate significant cost savings while improving administrative efficiency and regulatory compliance. These findings are particularly relevant given the rising cost of healthcare and the associated policy debates in the United States today.
Keywords: drug samples, Healthcare, information sharing, vendor-managed inventory
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Recommended Citation: Lang, G., Chahal, R. (2018). Information Sharing Increases Drug Sample Inventory Management Efficiency in Healthcare Clinics: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment. Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 11(1) pp 4-10. http://jisar.org/2018-11/ ISSN: 1946-1836. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of CONISAR 2017)