Can Pharmacies Buy Directly from Manufacturer?

Pharmacies have the option to purchase medications from wholesalers or directly from manufacturers. After obtaining these drugs, pharmacies must ensure that they are safely stored and dispensed to patients. Manufacturers create drugs and sell them in bulk to wholesalers, who then sell them to pharmacies. In this process, wholesalers use complex logistics and packaging methods to receive and deliver medicines on time and in good condition.

This way, they are able to bypass the entire supply chain. Patients no longer need to go through a doctor, payer, PBM, wholesaler and pharmacy to get generic drugs, but can use a single application to receive and complete a subscription. The pharmaceutical supply chain is highly complex in its current form. Supply chain intermediaries, wholesalers, PBMs, pharmacies and payers benefit from a combination of scale and opacity.

The aim of this study is to assess the consultation practice of this innovative trend that allows patients to bypass traditional pharmacies and obtain medications directly from pharmaceutical companies. PBA Health is devoted to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the purchasing side of their business. Nightengale said pharmacies should look for a wholesaler that shares their priorities, such as focusing on positive patient outcomes, providing an excellent customer experience, and having a healthy business. Additionally, wholesalers usually think that pharmacies are doing well enough that they don't need better prices, he said.

Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health provides independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, contract negotiations with wholesalers, proprietary purchasing tools, and more. Nightengale said pharmacies should be confident that sticking to their purchase agreement will maximize their discounts, and recommends taking full advantage of refunds in their contract. Pharmacy personnel types were documented as pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, operators, or customer service representatives. We identified the lack of proper counseling for patients who receive their medications directly from manufacturers through mail-order pharmacies.

It was concluded that most of the pharmacists of the above-mentioned companies did not meet these requirements. Published literature has been reviewed and there are limited studies evaluating mail-order pharmacies and none addressing the sale of DTC drugs. Ultimately, consulting these patients is just as important as it is for patients who use traditional pharmacies. Balcom said the biggest challenge for pharmacies when choosing a major wholesaler today is that they need to be willing to break down all elements of that business relationship. After buying pharmaceuticals, pharmacies take responsibility for their safe storage and dispensing to consumers.

The two aforementioned products are essentially offered directly to consumers through mail-order pharmacies that are not owned by pharmaceutical companies. In conclusion, it is important for pharmacists to understand the implications of buying directly from manufacturers or through wholesalers in order to provide the best possible care for their patients. Pharmacists should also be aware of the regulations surrounding mail-order pharmacies so they can provide proper counseling for those who choose this option.

Rachel Celli
Rachel Celli

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