With 2020 underway, HDA’s John M. Gray provided perspective on the vital role of pharmaceutical distributors and the Alliance’s policy priorities as part of Chain Drug Review’s annual “Pharmacy Outlook” feature.
Distributors sit at the heart of the pharmaceutical supply chain, connecting 180,000 healthcare providers and pharmacies with 1,300 drug manufacturers. Through their partnerships across the industry, pharmaceutical distributors provide the more than 180 million patients who regularly take prescription medicines with safe, quick and low-cost access to more than 4 billion prescription medicines each year.
In October 2018, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation offered a comprehensive response to the prescription opioid abuse epidemic — its enactment marked a significant step towards advancing meaningful solutions to address this public health crisis.
It has been clear for some time that the pharmaceutical supply chain has been concerned with meeting the November 27, 2019, saleable returns milestone. As the HDA’s Research Foundation’s annual Serialization Readiness Survey (conducted in May) notes, 79 percent of manufacturers have concerns with the viability of the Verification Router Service (VRS), while 82 percent of distributors are unsure about meeting the requirement.
The U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain is responsible for providing patients safe, secure and timely access to more than 4 billion prescription medicines every year. Sustaining this complex supply chain requires the collaboration between a diverse group of partners, including manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies as well as other healthcare facilities and providers.