August 9, 2021
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) honored AmerisourceBergen with the 2021 Distribution Management Award in recognition of the company’s engagement with manufacturer and dispensing trading partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award was presented in conjunction with the 2021 Distribution Management Virtual Conference and Expo.
The Distribution Management Award annually recognizes HDA member companies’ efforts to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of the healthcare supply chain through innovative and successful trading partner initiatives. Winning companies are selected by the distributor and manufacturer member executives of the HDA Industry Relations Council.
From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, AmerisourceBergen engaged their manufacturer, dispenser and hospital system customers to coordinate supply chain efforts and the response to the rapidly evolving global public health crisis. AmerisourceBergen worked diligently to update their trading partners regularly on the state of the pharmaceutical supply chain; the company’s emergency response procedures; and engagement with federal, state and local governments.
“A critical nexus between 1,400 manufacturers and more than 180,000 dispensers, HDA distributors serve as an important conduit for information in both times of calm and in crisis,” said Chester “Chip” Davis, Jr., President and CEO, Healthcare Distribution Alliance. “As COVID-19 has demonstrated, equitable access to healthcare is the difference between life and death. AmerisourceBergen’s efforts are indicative of the lengths HDA member companies will go to ensure the reliability of the healthcare supply chain. We congratulate them on winning the 2021 Distribution Management Award.”
From hosting a regular cadence of unique townhalls with both upstream and downstream partners, to implementing a range of information-sharing tactics, AmerisourceBergen was able to maintain an atmosphere of calm, informed decision-making, resulting in sustainable ordering practices from their customers. The company also helped manufacturers think about their allocation processes to better serve patients, by eliminating overages and wasted products at the height of the pandemic.
“We are always proud to serve as an active participant in the global pharmaceutical supply chain, but our work during this pandemic, and specifically supporting communication alignment across trading partners and distributing COVID-19 therapies, has been an absolute honor,” said Heather Zenk, President of Distribution Services at AmerisourceBergen. “We’re very appreciative of this recognition, but we’re also immensely grateful to all of our government and manufacturer partners as well as our dispensing and provider customers who have collaborated with us every step of the way.”
Further, HDA recognized Lilly USA, along with AmerisourceBergen, as a Distribution Management Award merit finalist for their collaboration to distribute bamlanivimab, the first authorized COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment. As allocated by the federal government and state departments of health, Lilly and AmerisourceBergen set up a streamlined, cyclical distribution process that was managed creatively and fine-tuned over time. Amid the surging pandemic, that distribution process provided significant value to COVID-positive patients, with the first treatment occurring within 24 hours of the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.
Previous award winners have included The MediLedger Project, a collaboration between five HDA member companies, as well as Smith Drug Company, for their cloud-based predictive inventory management system. (The award was not presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s non-profit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.