AZ di­rect sup­ply back­down

Pharmacy Daily - - Front Page -

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.

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