Pharmaceutical Returns

Tips to Choosing a Wholesale Distributor

1 year ago  •  Add Comment  •  by Amanda Alfredson

Choosing a wholesaler is so important, pharmacies need to do their homework and select the right partner for their business. Carefully consider what each wholesaler has to offer and how that fits into your pharmacy’s business structure and objectives. Below are three important aspects of choosing a wholesale distributor to keep in mind to ensure your pharmacy is running in the most efficient way:

  1. Service
    The most important thing to consider when choosing a wholesale distributor is their quality of service. This can affect your time, money, and stress if their service doesn’t align with yours. A wholesaler should be invested in your pharmacy’s outcome especially if you choose an independent wholesaler that can cater to your benefits. With that in mind, you should always have a direct point of contact for any troubleshooting issues that might occur. Another thing to note is if they offer stress-free services such as online ordering, fast shipping, and a wide range of high-quality products. Other things that a wholesaler might offer are marketing assistance, help with training and regulatory requirements, or even serving as a capital partner such as providing access to lines of credit which will help the pharmacy purchase fixtures, shelving, etc. These services are all dependent on your wholesaler, but each should be put into consideration when deciding based on what your pharmacy needs.

  2. Cost
    After the level of service provided, cost is the second most important aspect to consider when deciding on a wholesale distributor. When looking at the cost of goods, it is extremely important to make sure that they offer consistent prices across their line rather than steep price cuts on certain products. This is because you will be looking at all of their products and not just a select few. You should also note that you are picking a business model that has control over the cost of generic and brand-name drugs when choosing a wholesaler. It is also important to look at the possible rebates, ordering thresholds, and payment terms in the contract. If there are more favorable at a more expensive wholesaler, you may still save money than if you were to go with the cheaper one without these extras. The most important contractual agreement to note is the wholesaler’s return policy. By paying special attention to this, you can save money by returning the expired medications from your shelves.

  3. Loyalty
    There are both pros and cons that come with being loyal to one wholesaler. You may need to consider not being loyal to a single wholesaler to remain a viable business. It is a good idea to partner with more than one wholesaler if a company delivers only 1 or 2 days a week. While this mainly is the case in rural areas, having a second wholesaler can solve this problem while still saving costs and stress. On the other hand, with each wholesaler comes responsibilities such as invoices to pay and relationships to maintain. This can make it difficult to save money with more than one wholesaler. In any case, track your gross profit on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to see which option is right for you.

    The second side of loyalty is the wholesalers to the industry. If you are new to the business, it is advised that you work with a wholesaler who is active in their state’s pharmacy association and have a NABP Drug Distributor Accreditation. By doing so, you can ensure you are receiving creditable service with a history of success. Another thing to look for is their ability to provide access to contracts through its pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO) as well as their agreements within the PSAO. Last by not least, ensure they can vet medications to the FDA’s standards and ask about the company’s ability to comply with the FDA’s “track and trace” program, which ensures that suspect and illegitimate product don’t enter the supply chain.

Similarly, choosing the right reverse distributor can do the same. As mentioned above, returning your expired medications can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially with the use of Guaranteed Returns (GRx) to ensure you are getting the most for them. Click here to learn more about how GRx can make a positive impact on your pharmacy.

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