Safeguarding Access to Essential Medicines

Safeguarding Access to Essential Medicines

Now, more than ever, the dedicated around-the-clock efforts of our pharmaceutical distributors is crucial to the health of millions of Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

A complex and essential industry has worked tirelessly to stay ahead of the demand curve for essential medicines for all Canadians, regardless of where they live...

One of the most advanced industries you never think of…

Every day, behind the scenes, Canada’s pharmaceutical distributors keep your local pharmacies and hospitals stocked with medicines and other essential products. Distributors employ complex logistics in the best of times to ensure that Canadians receive the medicines they need, when they need them, regardless of where they live. This requires daily deliveries to over 11,000 pharmacies and hospitals - many of these remote - from coast to coast to coast.

COVID-19 Response
The Canadian Association of Pharmacy Distribution Management is very proud of the work our members are doing to support the healthcare system during this critical time. Early in the pandemic, Canada’s pharmaceutical distributors responded quickly and decisively to unprecedented spikes in pharmaceutical demand.
As part of our role in protecting the sustainability of drug supply, it was important to collaborate with drug manufacturers and pharmacy stakeholders to implement control measures to flatten the demand curve for essential medicines.  We advocated for a temporary 30-day refill policy on certain medications. We know this came with certain impositions and financial challenges but agree that it’s the right approach until the manufacturer community is in a position to confirm that future levels of supply are not in question. In the meantime, we’re grateful for your flexibility and understanding, as this policy is helping everyone receive the medications they need.
Our top priority is securing a stable supply chain for healthcare products for Canadian patients, regardless of where they live, while protecting the health of our employees and customers. Our industry has made significant investments to meet this challenge. Whether in proactive building of inventory levels to safeguard the security of product supply, systemic management of drug allocations, or unprecedented measures taken to ensure a clean and safe work environment at our distribution centres around the country, Canada’s pharmaceutical distributors are doing whatever they can to protect both the supply chain and the interest of the patient.
Distributors continue to closely monitor and safeguard against global supply and transportation disruptions and have ramped up inventories of critical drugs to meet patient needs. Together with other pharmacy stakeholders they have stepped-up communication and collaboration in every phase of their operations to promote patient access to medications, prioritizing urgent supply for those most in need.

Distribution industry executives continue to lend their expertise and thought leadership on supply management as a resource to governments, and are committed to exploring ways to support pharmacists in potential future roles for point-of-care testing for COVID-19, and the administration of vaccines when available.

As Canadians have scoured empty shelves for toilet paper and cleaning supplies, the entire pharmaceutical supply chain has been hard at work to mitigate the risk of shortages for critical drugs. This means that patients visiting their pharmacy in Baker Lake, Nunavut, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL, or Inuvik, NWT, can expect to receive their medications.

We’re here today and every day
As COVID-19 challenges us in countless ways, you can count on Canada’s pharmaceutical supply chain. We are here today and every day with our commitment to provide safe, secure, and timely access to the medications you and your loved ones require.  
The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management is the national organization representing pharmaceutical distributors. Since 1964, CAPDM has been the voice of an industry that provides an indispensable service to Canadians. Pharmaceutical distributors, specialty distributors, and self-distributing pharmacy retail chains are responsible for the delivery of approximately 95% of all prescription drugs to Canadian pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics.  Our association’s membership also includes pharmaceutical manufacturers, retail pharmacy chains and industry service providers.

CAPDM members keep a complex supply chain moving with efficiencies that generate significant savings for Canada’s health systems

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