A supply chain update

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Wholesalers report further easing in demand for medicines, allowing replenishment of stock and improvement across the supply chain as a whole

The National Pharmaceutical Services Association – the peak body representing Australia’s CSO wholesalers – said on Friday that shortages of some products remain, as do concerns about import freight due to COVID-19.

However, the past week has seen encouraging signs, it said.

“All stakeholders in the supply chain are working hard together to manage issues as they arise,” said NPSA.

“NPSA firmly endorses recent comments from pharmaceutical industry peak body Medicines Australia on the need for continued and transparent collaboration to support Australia’s medicines supplies.

“We share a commitment to work together to support government efforts, manage supply chain difficulties and reduce community concern about medicine access during COVID-19.

“This collaboration, for example, has seen more than one million flu vaccine doses supplied to community pharmacy in the last six weeks. This is more than all the doses supplied to community pharmacy for the entire 2019 season.”

NPSA noted that in order to meet increased community demand, the Federal Government has sourced another three million vaccines and the supply of these doses is expected to be available to the health sector over May and June.

It said that the wholesalers are ready to rapidly distribute community pharmacy’s share of the three million additional flu vaccine and this will be done without impact on the storage or delivery of other cold chain medicines.

“The NPSA’s ability to deliver in this regard is due to members sustained investment in national distribution centres across Australia,” it said.

“NPSA members have more than 22,000 cubic meters of cold chain storage capacity which is comfortably meeting the increased logistics demands to store and distribute flu vaccines during COVID-19.”

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