How Does the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Work?

The pharmaceutical supply chain works with different links forming a chain, starting with raw materials and ending up with a consumer which could be a hospital, doctor’s surgery or patient purchasing the finished product. The manufacturing and packing process all come together to create the medicine distributed by your pharmacist. ANP Pharma is a pharmaceutical wholesaler, one of a number in the UK, acting as an intermediary between the pharmaceutical industry and their customers by purchasing medicines wholesale and distributing them to customers.

The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Explained

The pharmaceutical supply chain process is the means by which prescription medicines are manufactured and delivered to patients via several different outlets including GP surgeries, hospitals and residential care homes. There are lots of different stakeholders involved at various points in this process including wholesale distributors like ANP Pharma, manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs.

The pharmaceutical supply chain is a complex processand one which has to navigate a number of challenges including:

  1.  The approvals and licensing process for new medicines.
  2. Avoiding drug counterfeiting.
  3. Cold chain shipping which is a temperature-controlled supply chain typically very important with the new Covid vaccine made by Pfizer which has to be kept at a temperature of around minus 70 degrees.

In simple terms, there are five key steps in the pharmaceutical supply chain process:

  1.  Pharmaceuticals originate in manufacturing sites.
  2.  Medicines are transferred to wholesale distributors.
  3. They appear as stock in high street retail chemists, mail order and other types of pharmacy companies.
  4. They are subject to price negotiations by pharmacy benefit management companies.
  5. They are dispensed by pharmacies and delivered to the end user.

ANP Pharma is one of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers in the UK responsible for the distribution of large amounts of prescription medicines and treatments via their state of the art, fully digitalised warehouse and automated service. ANP Pharma is an essential link in how the pharmaceutical supply chain worksand a trusted pharmaceutical wholesaler in the UK. For bulk medicines and slick distribution, find out more on our website