A hospital pharmacy buyer is in charge of purchasing and maintaining inventory within the pharmacies and drug repositories of hospitals and large clinics. Such pharmacies generally fill patient prescriptions and provide them with drugs, bandages, light durable medical equipment and even over-the-counter medicines. The pharmacy buyer purchases the inventory on hand, typically working to maintain certain cost controls and traditional inventory management procedures.
The pharmacy buyer seeks out ways to control costs for both the hospital and its patients; for instance, the buyer is likely to purchase both name-brand and generic drugs, and when multiple equivalent brands exist, the buyer works to find the best price on those items. The buyer also takes advantage of volume discounts. The buyer also purchases over-the-counter medications and materials such as bandages, non-prescription salves and small durable medical equipment such as canes or crutches. Another key aspect of this job is inventory management, with the buyer typically conducting inventory for pharmacy supplies on hand, establishing par levels and working with hospital pharmacists to ensure proper accounting and rotation.
Because the hospital pharmacy buyer position is likely to require both supervisory duties and a strong knowledge of pharmacological requirements, most individuals in this job are licensed pharmacists. Most buyers also have extensive experience as pharmacists as well.
Hospital Pharmacy Buyer Tasks
Ensure inventory supply, order processing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and supplies.
Negotiate with vendors to obtain optimum service and price.
Monitor and analyze pricing and adherence to contracts.