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FEFO, not FIFO!

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

While FIFO (First In First Out) remains the most common method of stock rotation, for products with a distinct expiration date, like pharmaceuticals, the preferred inventory management method is actually FEFO (First Expire First Out). This approach minimizes the possibility of waste and product expiration by ensuring that product soonest to expire is prioritized for shipment first, regardless of when it was received in the warehouse or pharmacy. VineMeds reviewed serialization data for more than two dozen brands and found that well over half (61%) had clearly observable instances of product shipments not following the FEFO inventory management method. Of those brands, 14% saw product shipments with more than 6 months later dating than inventory still on the shelf.


That means an overwhelming amount of pharma products are at real risk of having inventory expire on the shelves because all the supply chain participants are simply not moving their stock in an efficient manner. Pharma products face a multitude of other factors that can cause overstocks and lead to expirations such as contract changes, loss of exclusivity, demand fluctuations and pre-launch, at-risk manufacturing; ineffective inventory management shouldn’t be one of them.


For pharma stakeholders, do you know if your supply chain partners are practicing FEFO? With the unit serialization data being captured as part of compliance for the upcoming DSCSA legislation and a good data partner like VineMeds LLC you and your supply chain partners should be able to answer that question. Contact VineMeds for a live demo! #pharma #supplychain #serialization #FEFO

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