AZ direct supply backdown
ASTRAZENECA (AZ) has announced a transition away from its current exclusive direct supply arrangements for 14 high-cost medicines ( PD 31 Oct 2017), with the full range of products to become available both through current provider DHL and the key pharmaceutical wholesalers from
01 Feb 2019 ( PD breaking news yesterday).
The change means AstraZeneca’s controversial direct supply model will have only lasted for just over twelve months, and during a transition period which started yesterday the full range of AZ medications will be available from DHL, while transitional arrangements with the other wholesalers are finalised.
AZ Country President, Liz Chatwin, said the move follows feedback received following last year’s decision to make particular items available directly, and exclusively, to pharmacy via DHL.
“Community pharmacy and wholesalers asked us for choice and access to all of our medicines.
“We are confident that our new model will provide this, it will be competitive, and deliver for patients,” Chatwin said.
“It won’t cherry-pick and there will be no exclusive distribution,” she added.
The announcement came just days after the Health Department released its Invitation to Apply for the Community Service Obligation funding pool ( PD Mon), which has put the squeeze on direct supply by not allowing any CSO payments in relation to items which are subject to exclusive arrangements.
AstraZeneca will partner with Arrow Pharmaceuticals during the transition to support pharmacists, and also confirmed that the 14 exclusive supply medications would return to wholesalers, meaning the full range of 77 items is available through the normal distribution chain.
Chatwin said the company was committed to rolling out the new model as fast as possible, bearing in mind the busy Christmas and New Year period coming up.
“Our transition to our new distribution model is a process that we want to get right by working with all relevant stakeholders,” she said, with the 01 Feb deadline set to give wholesalers the access they have asked for “in a timeframe we can deliver on”.
Pharmacy Guild National President George Tambassis thanked AstraZeneca for addressing concerns about direct supply.
“Our members will now have choice, which we welcome, to ensure patients have acces to these important medicines from multiple sources,” Tambassis said.