COVID-19 Driving Unprecedented Demand
The COVID-19 crisis has driven unprecedented demand for healthcare products and thrown global supply chains into turmoil. In this context, protecting Canadians’ access to essential medications has never been more complicated, or more important.
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.
Canada’s pharmaceutical distributors have responded quickly and decisively to unprecedented spikes in pharmaceutical demand. They have been closely monitoring and safeguarding against global supply and transportation disruptions and 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.
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.
Our industry has made significant investments in order 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.
Protecting this patient access also takes a coordinated effort from distribution center employees and transportation personnel, all of whom are working harder than ever to meet the demands this pandemic imposes. These ‘backroom heroes” ensure the stability of drug supply during these turbulent times.
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 part of our role in promoting the sustainability of drug supply, it was also important to collaborate with drug companies and pharmacy stakeholders to implement control measures to prevent hoarding behaviour. We understand that the temporary 30-day refill policy on certain medications comes with impositions and financial challenges but agree that it’s the right approach until the manufacturer community is in 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.
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 system