What does a drug distributor do?

Pharmaceutical distributors are the middlemen who ship manufacturers' products to pharmacies and other suppliers. In addition to hospitals and pharmacy chains, more than 22,000 independent pharmacies depend on their services on a daily basis, according to Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA). As logistics experts, distributors don't manufacture, prescribe, or promote drugs. Distributors also don't make clinical decisions about who should or should not receive a medication or what medication is best for a particular patient.

Getting a drug starts with a prescription, and distributors help ensure that what your healthcare provider prescribes reaches your hospital, pharmacy, or other healthcare facility safely and reliably. Wholesale distributors are the second link in the drug supply chain. Purchase pharmaceuticals from manufacturers for distribution to a variety of different locations, such as pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices, and laboratories. Some distributors sell a variety of products, including medicines and medical equipment, while others specialize in types of products sold or types of customers sold to.

HDA distributor members now work tirelessly to overcome the exceptional and unprecedented demands of vaccine deployment across the country by acting as centralized distributors, working with states to move products to dispensing sites, and supporting independent pharmacies in the first line of administration. Healthcare distributors have been fully involved in COVID-19 response efforts, working with federal, state and local government agencies to distribute medical supplies, PPE, therapeutic treatments and vaccines. Distributors manage a complex supply chain, leveraging innovative technologies to ensure safe and efficient delivery every time. Eligible wholesale distributors must maintain and enforce the policies and procedures that incorporate points 1 through 6 below and include provisions of federal law for manufacturers, wholesale distributors and repackagers to quarantine suspicious and illegitimate products, maintain records related to illegitimate product determinations for no less than 6 years and provide notifications of illegitimate products to FDA and business partners.

These prices are largely determined by the market, and it's not uncommon for manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies to talk to each other to determine how much to pay for how much product, based on a host of factors such as regional demand, store brand labeling, negotiations, public opinion, and more. Before applying for drug distributor accreditation, outsourcing centers must meet all of the following conditions. Pharmaceutical manufacturers manage drug distribution from point of production to drug wholesalers and, in some cases, directly to retain pharmacy chains, specialty pharmacies, hospital chains, and some health plans. Pharmacies typically purchase prescription drugs from wholesalers at a discount contracted in the WAC.

As the healthcare system changes rapidly, distributors are constantly envisioning new ways to move and secure medicines from the country, while protecting patient safety. Due to the unique nature of the wholesale distributor in the drug supply chain, regulations are incredibly strict when it comes to how medicines are received, stored, handled and sold. There are other ways that wholesalers can keep prices low, such as discounts offered to distributors who can move more products and pay on time (or in advance), and selling drugs in the short term, which carry the risk of expiration before sale. By combining purchasing power, wholesalers can help smaller pharmacies better negotiate with generic drug manufacturers.

Healthcare distributors offer unmatched logistics expertise, technology solutions and support to providers who treat patients on the frontline, as well as those who innovate to find tomorrow's treatments and cures. Today, wholesale distributors offer a range of specialized services, such as specialty drug distribution, pharmaceutical repackaging, electronic ordering services, drug buyback programs and reimbursement support, specialty pharmacy, and disease management services. . .

Rachel Celli
Rachel Celli

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