Pharmacy Internal Controls: A Call for Greater Vigilance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pharmacy (Basel). 2020 Nov 15;8(4):216. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy8040216.


For businesses that store physical goods, managing product inventories and financial cost accounting controls are critical. Pharmacies are under considerable scrutiny, due to the nature of their merchandise, making internal controls even more vital. Due to the emergence of COVID-19 and government mitigation strategies, the US economy has seen significant macro- and microeconomic effects. COVID-19 has changed the pharmacy working environment, which could theoretically increase rates of employee drug diversion. Therefore, better inventory management could reduce the misuse of pharmaceutical drugs from fraudulent and drug diversion activities. The author explored secondary findings to create a multidisciplinary conceptual analysis of the reasons why internal controls executed with greater diligence may be needed to avoid damaging financial, legal, and health outcomes. The author also provides a review of available internal control methods that can be used to mitigate diversion.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; drug diversion; fraud; internal controls; pharmacy inventory.

Publication types

  • Review