Leveraging Logistics Expertise

Every day, pharmaceutical distributors deliver millions of prescription medicines and healthcare products to hundreds of thousands of state and federally licensed healthcare providers across the country. By streamlining operations within the supply chain, distributors save the healthcare system between $33–$53 billion each year.

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Distribution Centers Built for Efficiency

Highly automated distribution centers, strategically located throughout the country, help distributors efficiently deliver medicines. With operations continuously running, distributors can take orders by as late as 8:00 p.m. and deliver them to their destination by the next morning. Distribution centers are staffed with logistics experts who work tirelessly to make sure filling and shipping processes are as efficient as possible.

Technology to Optimize Operations

Distributors use advanced technology, such as warehouse management systems, to optimize the workflow and storage of goods within the distribution center. This includes inventory control, storage location management, order selection, quality control and shipping.

Using this technology, distributors can identify the most efficient product inventory levels, the specific location within the warehouse to store each product and ideal picking sequences to assemble an order. Automated technologies, such as carousels, A-Frames and sortation systems, are also used to help streamline the picking of products. Controls are in place to ensure that the right product and quantities are included in the shipments at all times.

Solutions to Streamline the Supply Chain

Without distributors, manufacturers would need to maintain separate relationships with every pharmacy and hospital in America to coordinate the delivery of their products, and pharmacies and hospitals would need to individually order each medicine from the supplying manufacturer directly. Not only would that add tremendous time and cost to the system, but it would be almost impossible to manage inventory and guard against shortages. Pharmaceutical distributors serve this critical role in the supply chain, saving the healthcare system billions of dollars each year through logistics solutions, supply chain expertise and technological advancements.

Value Across the Healthcare Ecosystem

Distributors play a critical role in the pharmaceutical supply chain by consolidating manufacturer orders, delivering products to licensed pharmacies and other healthcare providers, processing returns and maintaining the infrastructure to manage customer relationships. These core services enable patient access to critical medications and treatments by supporting pharmaceutical manufacturers, providers and pharmacies. Distributors’ core services amplify value in the healthcare ecosystem by increasing operational efficiency, providing inventory management and bearing financial risk.

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