AJP REPORTS ON DISPARITY IN SUPPLY CHAIN DISTRIBUTION BETWEEN INDPENDENT & BANNER FRANCHISES



Below is extracted from Australian Journal of Pharmacy, 19 May 2020


“The extraordinary demand driven by fearful consumers who deluged pharmacies created enormous trauma throughout the supply chain.”

—Bruce Annabel, industry analyst

One anonymous pharmacy proprietor based in metropolitan Sydney told AJP that among the three independent pharmacies and a warehouse pharmacy in their area, they were all able to obtain different stock.


“I was telling one patient a medicine was coming in but they were on a list. They took their script off me and went to another pharmacy in the area and got that same drug,” the pharmacist said.


“It’s bizarre that in a small community, one pharmacy out of four is holding stock of a particular drug that no one else can have. The drug I was looking for was one that everyone was looking for.”


The pharmacy that ended up having stock of the drug was not the large warehouse pharmacy in the area, but another independent one.

“I rang the manufacturer and said, ‘I don’t think you realise, if you’re favouring first-line people that deal with this wholesaler or with that brand, or independent versus a brand, that actually really fragments the supply of medicine and the face and trust that people have in their pharmacies.’ They said, ‘we’re not doing that’, but there’s unexplained things that have been happening,” said the pharmacist.

Mr Annabel said that while some pharmacies that couldn’t get items such as salbutamol inhalers through their first-line supplier, they could sometimes source them through a second-line supplier.

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