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Most UK pharmacists satisfied with wholesaler distribution model study claims

By Neil Trainis

PUBLISHED: April 18, 2017 | UPDATED: April 18, 2017

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A study commissioned by the European Healthcare Distribution Association has found the majority of pharmacists in the UK are satisfied with the distribution system of pharmaceutical short-line and full-line wholesalers.

In the study carried out by the Institute for Pharmaeconomic Research (IPF), 72% of pharmacists said they were satisfied with the wholesale model and 11% were dissatisfied with the current system.

On the delivery time offered by wholesalers, 83% said they were satisfied compared with 76% in 2011, leading the study’s report to conclude that “the overall level of satisfaction (has) increased over the last years.”

Over 85% of pharmacists said the level of service from full-line wholesalers was adequate but just 35% agreed they offered financial services, leading the report to suggest it “might therefore signal a new area for service-level improvement.”

In terms of the safety of medicines the study said: “The performance of wholesalers is considered to be high among pharmacists, especially as regards wholesalers’ ability to respect the cold-chain, to protect against falsified medicines and to ensure the safety of medicines during transport.”

Nearly 60% of pharmacists said wholesalers had provided them with innovative medicines including through reduced wholesaler agreements while 81% said they had obtained other branded medicines via wholesalers, with 95% purchasing generics and 90% buying over-the-counter products.

The IPF report, ‘Distribution profile and efficiency of the European pharmaceutical full-line wholesaling sector,’ also revealed that 752 pharmaceutical full-line wholesalers across France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain and the UK supply medicines to over 180,743 retail pharmacies, hospitals and dispensing doctors in the European Union.