Can pharmacies buy directly from manufacturer?

Pharmacies buy medicines from wholesalers and sometimes directly from manufacturers. After purchasing these medications, pharmacies must safely store and dispense these medications to patients. Manufacturers create drugs and sell them wholesale to wholesalers, who in turn sell drugs to pharmacies. In this process, wholesalers use complex logistics and packaging methods to receive and deliver medicines on time and in good condition.

In doing so, these companies essentially bypass the entire supply chain. Patients no longer have to go to a doctor, payer, PBM, wholesaler and pharmacy to receive these generic drugs, but can use a single application to receive and complete a subscription. The pharmaceutical supply chain is extremely complicated in its current form. Supply chain intermediaries, wholesalers, PBMs, pharmacies and payers benefit from a combination of scale and opacity.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the consultation practice of this innovative trend that allows patients to bypass conventional pharmacies and receive medications directly from pharmaceutical companies. PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies achieve their full potential on the purchasing side of their business. Nightengale said pharmacies should look for a wholesaler with the same priorities as them, such as focusing on positive patient outcomes, a great customer experience, and a healthy business. And, wholesalers generally believe that pharmacies are doing well enough that they don't need better prices, he said.

Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, contract negotiations with wholesalers, proprietary purchasing tools, and more. Nightengale said pharmacies should be confident that being loyal 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 purchasing pharmaceuticals, pharmacies assume 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.

Rachel Celli
Rachel Celli

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