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Pfizer Australia has announced that it will transition back to the wholesaler distribution model in a move welcomed by the Guild

Pfizer Australia said on Wednesday that it will distribute medicines through Community Service Obligation (CSO) pharmaceutical distribution, and transition from a direct distribution model to a wholesaler distribution model in the third quarter of 2021. 

Pfizer announced the decision by signing a contract with API and says it expects to finalise negotiations with other wholesalers shortly.  

From the end of Q3 2021, Pfizer Australia will supply its portfolio of innovative and off-patent medicines to community and hospital pharmacies in Australia via the national wholesaler model, it says.

“Pfizer has an increased focus on innovation and R&D as a biopharmaceutical business,” said Pfizer Australia & New Zealand Managing Director Anne Harris.

“Moving from direct to wholesale distribution will enable a greater focus on our core business as a biopharmaceutical company, and better position ourselves for growth. 

“Pfizer’s biopharma business has a diverse product portfolio and range of sales in Australia. 

“Our wholesale model will not be exclusive to one wholesaler. 

“We will continue to offer next business day delivery through wholesale distribution partners, to more than 5,600 pharmacies nationally, which is virtually all pharmacies in Australia,” Ms Harris said. 

“From now until late Q3 2021 it will be business as usual. Pfizer’s existing logistics provider will transition out as a direct distribution partner, to our pre-wholesale partner, over the coming months. 

“We are committed to ensuring that patients have access to our medicines and vaccines in every location in Australia, and our direct distribution model has been a key contributor to this. 

“Pfizer would like to thank DHL for their strong partnership. They have had more than 10 years of success in the direct-to-market model servicing our patients. 

“We have enjoyed a long and valued relationship with DHL and remain committed to working closely with them for a smooth transition from our direct distribution partnership, and ensuring continued patient access to our medicines. We will continue to partner with DHL for our pre-wholesale activities,” Ms Harris said. 

In response to the announcement, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia said that it welcomes the move.

“This is good news for community pharmacies who will now be able to access Pfizer medicines under the CSO – which ensures equity of access to Pfizer medicines delivered across Australia under the same agreement as all other CSO distributors,” said Guild National President Trent Twomey.

“It means less time and processes for our community pharmacies in terms of managing their medicines for their patients. 

“That saves our pharmacies and their patients in terms of time to access their medicines. No one misses out on getting their Pfizer medicines on time from their local community pharmacy.

“I want to especially acknowledge our former National President George Tambassis who was instrumental in delivering this change,” he said.

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