When choosing shelving for use in a pharmaceutical setting, there are several things to keep in mind. The most important elements to consider for pharmacy shelving are form, function, and flexibility.
Shelving in the front end of the pharmacy, where customers are browsing, should be aesthetically pleasing and appealing to customers, and it should contribute to the desired feel of the space. Does the color blend with the rest of the space? Does it feel clinical and crisp?
All shelving, whether customer-facing or in the work area, must be safe. Components of the shelf system must fit together securely with no possibility of falling over, and there should be no sharp edges.
Consider the purpose of the shelving. When displaying items for customers, think about the products to be displayed. For smaller items, such as vitamin bottles, a shelf width of 12-14 inches is ideal. For bulkier items, such as bedpans or toilet paper, deeper shelves are needed. Some products, such as toothbrushes, may need to be displayed on hanging pegs to be seen clearly. Your shelving system must allow for all these options.
Shelving in the work area serves a different purpose. Here again, shelves may need to be of different widths based on the products being stored. Some shelves may also need to be at a slight angle for pharmacists to quickly view all items on the shelf. This allows technicians to pull items and rotate stock based on expiration dates more easily.
Another function to consider is the durability of the shelving. Although each pharmaceutical product may not weigh much, when hundreds of items are on the shelf, the weight can be substantial. The material and construction of the shelving need to be of a quality that will hold up to the demands placed on it. Will this shelving last for many years without needing to be replaced or reinforced?
There may come a time when a drug manufacturer chooses to repackage a particular product in a different size or shape of container. The pharmacy shelving will need to adjust to accommodate those container changes and still display the product in a consumer-friendly manner. Are the shelves easy to move and alter?
Perhaps more shelves are needed to store more dosage sizes of a product. Can existing shelves be adjusted or expanded to make room for more shelving?
Suppose the layout of the pharmacy needs to be changed. For example, more space may be required to fulfill consumer demand for gift items at certain times of year. Crutches need to give way to picture frames and holiday items. Can the large open bin be turned into shelving? Can the shelf space be turned into a peg-style display and vice versa?
Pharmaceutical shelving needs to be safe and have a pleasing form. It must be suitable for multiple functions and durable. Lastly, it must be flexible to meet changing demands. By taking into account these key factors, you can choose the appropriate storage and display solutions for your store.