As part of Chain Drug Review’s annual “Pharmacy Outlook” feature, HDA President John M. Gray shared his insight on the important role pharmaceutical distributors play in the healthcare system.
“A new decade presents an opportunity for reflection,” said Gray. “For HDA and our pharmaceutical distributor members, 2020 finds us reexamining the value our industry provides to the larger healthcare ecosystem while reassessing our priorities and anticipating what is around the corner.”
In the piece, Gray delved into HDA’s report, The Role of Distributors in the U.S. Health Care Industry, and emphasized how distributors sit as the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system through their commitment to safety, efficiency, reliability. He also discussed core and value-added services that, combined with distributors’ logistics expertise, ultimately save the healthcare system between $33 billion and $53 billion annually.
Gray also outlined future opportunities for distributors, including four future scenarios that could affect the healthcare supply chain and ways distributors can leverage their logistics expertise to adapt the changing landscape, including:
- Expanding the role of distributors as industry intermediaries for a potential overhaul of pharmaceutical pricing infrastructure;
- Extending delivery capabilities and third-party services for increases in personalized medicines and challenges in aggregating orders;
- Creating new patient delivery systems with extra precision to compete with an emergence of last-mile delivery services; and,
- Serving as “stewards” for increased data flow by the time the Drug Supply Chain Act (DSCSA) is fully implemented.
Finally, Gray highlighted the Health Delivered initiative and the tremendous value distributors hold for patients and the healthcare system.
“While the road ahead will almost certainly bring challenges and opportunities, pharmaceutical distributors will continue to transform to meet the needs of manufacturers, providers and the patients they serve — both today and in the future.”
Read Gray’s column here.