A win for full-line wholesalers

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Pharmaceutical manufacturer ditches direct distribution model for CSO wholesalers in move driven by pharmacist feedback

AstraZeneca has announced it will exit its exclusive-direct distribution arrangements and return supply of its PBS medicines to the three full-line CSO wholesalers API, Sigma and Symbion from 1 October 2019.

The move will see AstraZeneca medicines available through the full-line wholesalers Sigma and API. The move was originally reported by AJP as only being with Symbion.  

The decision comes nearly two years after AstraZeneca moved nine of its high value medicines to an exclusive-direct supply model through logistics company DHL.

In a letter to pharmacists AstraZeneca said, following a transition period it would be phasing out all operations with DHL.

“From 1 October 2019, community pharmacies will continue to be able to order any of our medicines via their preferred full-line wholesaler,” said Liz Chatwin, AZ country president Australia & New Zealand.

“This change to our distribution model is a response to feedback from numerous community pharmacists, following our decision to make our medicines available directly to pharmacy.”

“Everyone asked for choice, a reliable, easy way to order and access all our medicines, and this updated distribution model will address your requirements,” she said.

Arrow Pharmaceuticals would be AstraZeneca’s authorised reseller and would provide support to pharmacists as the transition occurred, Ms Chatwin said.

“We know the importance of supporting you on the ground and Arrow Pharmaceuticals has the presence and relationships across the country to help all involved.”


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