Determining how many drugs to stock for your in-office dispensing practice is not an easy decision. There are many factors to be considered.

Conducting research up-front on your patients can help you know the right medicines to stock. You need to discover what are the most common physical illnesses your patients face.

And because mental illnesses are effecting one in five adults in America, you should consider the most common mental health problems affecting your patients. From there, determine how many of those medicines are prescribed in pill, powder, liquid, injection and cream forms.

These are not the only medical products to stock in your office. In fact, more patients are requiring the use of durable medical equipment and supplies. Therefore, research the number of patients you have who need these items and stock based on those numbers.

Before you begin your research, you may want to understand why it is important to stock medicines in-office.


Why It’s Important Keep the Right Stock

Medication shortages can be common among pharmacies. Your patient can wait a day or longer before receiving their medications. With in-office dispensing you can avoid any type of medication shortage.

In-office dispensing programs are set up to automatically submit refill requests when you are running low. They ship products soon after the order is placed, and you receive the products you need quickly, before you run out of any medications.

This is a huge benefit to your patients, who aren’t always as efficient when placing a refill order. Sometimes they wait until the last minute. And even though this is no fault of yours, they expect you to be able to deliver.

With in-office dispensing, you can deliver exactly when they need it. Your patients are what makes your office successful. Providing them with this service at the time of their appointment, shows your patients how much you care.

Learning all you can about your patients’ illnesses, physically and mentally, will help you answer your questions about your stocking needs.


Most Common Physical Illnesses

Choosing products to supply patients can be simplified by examining reports from places such as the Center for Disease Control.

Based on your specialty, medicinal needs can vary. But in customary practices, these will correlate with the most common illnesses in society.

According to reports, the most common ailments treated among physicians today include hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

How many of your patients suffer from these diseases? This number will tell you how many medicines to stock for these illnesses.


Most Common Mental Illnesses

Depression is the leading mental illness in America, ranging from mild depressive symptoms to major depressive disorder. Anxiety, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are also common mental health disorders.

Mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, are very layered and with each diagnosis there are multiple sub-diagnoses that are attributed to mental health, or lack of health.

Medications used to treat the symptoms of mental illness are some of the most prescribed medicines in America today. Again, taking the number of your patients who have mental health disorders can give you an estimate of how many medicines to stock.

Some of the more common medicines used to treat mental illness can easily be dispensed in your office, just like those for physical illnesses.


Most Common Solid Form Dosage Medication

Solid, compressed, time-release and coated are the most common types of solid form dosages today. Tablets appear to be the easiest form for most patients.

Solid form dosage medicines commonly used to treat the most common illnesses are in tablet form. These are used to treat patients with heart disease, as well as many other illnesses.

All these medicines are available in prepackaged form.

Some patients may be lacking in natural vitamins and minerals. Stocking items such as prepackaged vitamin D or potassium in solid form may benefit some practices.

Doctors can even order prepackaged pain medicines in solid form to have available for those patients needing immediate relief. Prepackaged solid form medicines are handled and stored according to regulations for every State.


Most Common Cream, Liquid and Injections

Pain relief may also come in the form of analgesics or creams, both of which are available in prepackaged form.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most common ailments treated by doctors today. This disease can be treated with more variety.

When prescribing for diabetes related issues, it is good to stock a rage of solid form and injection style medicines, along with durable medical equipment like syringes, testing strips and monitors.

Counting the number of current diabetic patients, you have and raising that number a bit to include any future patients that may need help in the next six months is one way to estimate how many medicine and supplies to stock.

Injection kits are readily available, complete with gauze, prep pads and bandages. The kits are created for anti-inflammatory and anesthetic uses, for example. Similarly, cream kits can be stocked for patients who are not able to tolerate pill forms.

Many cream kits are used to treat muscle spasms and are made of mild pain-relieving ingredients like ibuprofen.

Looking at your records, you can see how many patients in a week utilize these types of supplies and medicines. This number can serve as a basis for ordering stock.


Most Common Durable Medical Equipment

Durable medical equipment, dispensed in-office, is a huge benefit for patients. Patients who need durable medical equipment often are handicapped or disabled in some way.

When a cane, walker or wheelchair is prescribed for a patient, the last thing they want to do is travel to a pharmacy to pick up the item.

They are in pain and are looking for relief. Supplying durable medical equipment as part of an in-office dispensing program will be appreciated by your patients.

Any way you can help your patient avoid the long lines and possible shortage that comes with visiting a pharmacy, the more your patients will remain satisfied and loyal to your practice.