Navy Pharmacy Operations Achieves SECNAV Recognition

By Valerie A. Kremer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

These achievements include standardizing inventory and drug control measures, revising pharmacy guidance at the         command level and increasing use of generic drugs. Navy Medicine spends approximately $500 million on its pharmacy      operations each year. 

“Proper management of inventory ensures Sailors, Marines and eligible beneficiaries receive appropriate, safe and cost-effective drug therapy at our MTFs (Military Treatment Facilities),” said CAPT Stephanie Simon, MSC, Navy Pharmacy Consultant. 

The strategy, executed by the BUMED Financial Improvement Program team, includes on-site training to each MTF for pharmaceutical inventory, standardizing best business practices across Navy Medicine, greater oversight over pharmacy stock levels, ensuring drug availability, reducing expired drug returns, and weekly inventories of Schedule II controlled     substances to ensure public safety and legal compliance.    

“This initiative has significant importance because we’re expanding in clinical roles, standardization, and patient safety,” said Simon.

The plan, launched in FY09 to enhance pharmaceutical inventory oversight, is phased across three years and spans across 24 hospitals and clinics (nearly 75 pharmacy locations around the world).

Naval Hospital Jacksonville served as the pilot for the new business processes providing more efficient management of pharmaceutical inventory. Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, U.S.  Naval Hospital Rota, and Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point are a few of the Navy Medicine facilities to have implemented the new program this year.      

“Taking care of our Wounded Warriors and heroes of our nation and beneficiaries are a way to do optimization of clinical and business practices. It allows us to obtain our mission, why we’re here to optimize patient centered care”, added Simon.