Pharmaceutical Returns

The Four Flavors of Pharmaceutical Return Payments

4 years ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Donna Bliss

Frequently we are asked How come I get checks directly from some vendors (synonymous with manufacturer) and other times checks are from Guaranteed Returns®. We thought this would be a good time to provide some information about why you receive checks from multiple sources.  Since it’s the summertime, I am going to use ice cream flavors to help me explain why you get checks or credits from different sources.

In the world of pharmaceutical returns, manufacturer’s policies dictate all aspects of the returns process – from the way we collect and process returned products to how and from whom you receive payment. Like ice cream, there are different flavors of manufacturers and payment is dictated by manufacturer flavor:


In the Reverse Distribution Program -Expired Returns process, most manufacturers will issue credit for expired returns to the program wholesaler, who then reports it to GRx for consolidated distribution back to the returning pharmacies.  The Consolidated Credit is then conveyed to the pharmacy via credit through their wholesaler account of funded by the wholesaler to GRx for payment via check to the pharmacy.


Some manufacturers, though they will accept Reverse Distribution Program- Expired Returns for credit, will only issue that credit back to the returning pharmacy directly, either via credit to the pharmacy’s direct account or via check payable to the pharmacy. These manufacturers are referred to as Direct Vendors.

The Twist

Some manufacturers base their crediting method on the direct or indirect purchasing status of the pharmacy. If the pharmacy has a direct account with the manufacturer they will receive their credit directly from the manufacturer, either by check or credit to their account. If they do not have a direct account with the manufacturer, a credit will be issued to the pharmacy’s wholesaler, which is then conveyed to the pharmacy via the consolidated credit method(s) above. These manufacturers are referred to as Semi-direct Vendors.


These days, many Direct Vendors engage the services of 3rd party processors like Stericycle, Genco and Inmar, to handle their incoming expired returns. As a result, checks for these Direct Vendor returns may be issued by the 3rd party processor on behalf of the manufacturer. These 3rd Party Processor Checks will usually reference the return debit# number assigned by GRX when the product was processed, and can be easily identified based upon that information.

Check out this partial list of Direct and Semi-Direct Vendors (Please note this list is subject to change.)

Direct Vendors Semi-Direct Vendors
Apotex Aventis/Pasteur
Akrimax Cephalon, Inc.
Amgen Dey
Bayer Miles Pharma Genzyme Oncology
Genzyme Genzyme Renal
Glenwood Glaxo Wellcome
Hospira Worldwide Janssen Ortho-McNeil
Mylan Lilly (Eli Lilly)
Novartis Opthalmics Merck
Novartis Pharm Merck & Co., Inc.
UDL Merck Vaccines

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