20 April 2007 | Antony Barton
AstraZeneca has appointed AAH Pharmaceuticals and Unichem to deliver its medicines directly to pharmacies and hospital patients in the UK.
This arrangement replaces its system of supplying medicines indirectly through various wholesalers. It follows the company's review of its supply chain and last month's decision by drugs company Pfizer to sell prescription drugs solely through Unichem.
Dr Rhiannon Rowsell, medical and regulatory affairs director for AstraZeneca, said: "We are taking responsibility for ensuring a modern and simplified supply and delivery service is in place for all pharmacies, dispensing doctors and hospitals, so the right medicine, often for serious conditions, is delivered to the right place, for every patient, every single time."
AstraZeneca plans to introduce the new supply and delivery service in late summer. The commercial arrangements with its customers are being reviewed and the company will continue to consult relevant stakeholders.
The Office of Fair Trading launched a probe into UK medicine distribution earlier this month, which will focus on such changes.