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The Future of European Pharmaceutical Distribution

NEW YORK, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

The Future of European Pharmaceutical Distribution

Reducing the number of wholesalers helps to reduce internal costs for manufacturers, and by dealing only with a few wholesalers may create more manageable business relationships

The European pharmaceutical distribution system is set to change dramatically over the next few years. The adoption of direct-to-pharmacy (DTP) in the UK and its emergence in Poland sets a potential precedent for other European markets.

To date, pharmaceutical manufacturers have managed to drive the changes to suit their interests.  However, the establishment of new relationships with select wholesalers will lead to a new type of distributor, which will expand their portfolio of business interests across Europe.

With the underlying structure of the supply chain about to change wholesalers are keen to remain competitive in the market.

The Future of Pharmaceutical Distribution in Europe - The impact of DTP on manufacturers and wholesalers from URCH Publishing, is a market report that comprehensively reviews the business of medicines distribution in Europe.

This 88 page report is an update of the 2008 report "Pharmaceutical Distribution in Europe"

The report is logically divided into four chapters. 

Chapter 1 provides a comprehensive history and overview of the key issues related to the pharmaceutical supply chain in Europe, including European law, EU institutions and the retail pharmacy industry.

Chapter 2 fully reviews the role of pharmaceutical wholesale companies with profiles of Alliance Boots, Celesio AG, Mediq and The Phoenix Group.  Distribution in the major markets is examined and the role of technology in wholesaling is reviewed.

Chapter 3 discusses how pharmaceutical manufacturers organise the distribution of their products. The emergence in the UK of direct-to-pharmacy distribution is analysed, as is reaction to the Office of Fair Trading's report. The impact of Pfizer's DTP scheme is assessed and moves by the other big players like AstraZeneca and Novartis are discussed.

Chapter 4 looks at the pressures that the European supply chain sector is under. Particular attention is paid to the growing problem of counterfeit medicines and the moves by the authorities and manufacturers to control this illegal trade.

The report provides a comprehensive insight into the realities of distributing medicines in Europe. Questions answered include:

- What has been the impact of direct-to-pharmacy distribution in the UK?

- Will government austerity measures impact the pharmaceutical distribution sector?

- Are there significant legal obstacles to be overcome when moving to a DTP distribution model?

- Do pharmacists have a future beyond the administration of dispensing?

- Are counterfeit medicines the next big major issues that the industry has to deal with?

- Is parallel trade still such a threat to manufacturer's profits?

- How wholesalers will have to change to remain competitive?

Key features of the report include:

- Over 10 case studies including these companies, Alliance Boots, AstraZeneca, Celesio, and Sanofi-Aventis

- Unbiased synopsis of the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) report into the UK's pharmaceutical supply chain

- Overview of the European pharmaceutical supply chain and the stakeholders involved in medicines distribution

- Insight into the aggressive Pan-European expansion strategies of some wholesalers

- Overview moves by manufacturers and authorities to reduce the problem of counterfeit medicines and the challenge of creating a Europe-wide response.

The report will help readers:

- Understand the impact of IT on managing distribution in Europe

- Analyse changing impulses in supply chain demand

- Gain insights into the consolidation process amongst wholesalers

- Evaluate the impact of the European Union on business strategy

With 13 Tables and 27 Figures this report is essential reading for anyone working in the pharmaceuticals supply chain including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and pharmacists. 

Organisations mentioned in this report include:

Alliance Boots, Alliance Healthcare, Amedis UE AG, Association of Pharmacies of Attica (APA), Associazione Distributori Farmaceutici, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Chambre Syndicale de la Repartition Pharmaceutique (CSRP), Der Bundesverband des pharmazeutischen GroBhandels (PHAGRO), EFPIA,. Europa Apotheek, Europharm, Farmacol, Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Mayoristas Distribuidores de Especialidades Farmaceuticas y Productos Parafarmaceuticas (FEDIFAR), Galexis, GlaxoSmithKline, Groupement International de la Repartition Pharmaceutique (GIRP), Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF), International Pharmaceutical Excipients Council (IPEC), Laboratorio Flandria NV, Les Entreprises du Medicament (LEEM), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Mediq, Napp Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, OFT, Panpharma, Pfizer, Phoenix Group, Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Tamro, The British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (BAPW), Torfarm, Unione Farmaceutica, Voigt AG, World Health Organization (WHO)


- Identify key areas that will change in the pharmaceutical market structure over the next five years.

- Support internal planning and decision-making with an external perspective founded on detailed analysis and transparent market forecasts.

- Understand how the market and regulatory environment could change  

Remember URCH Publishing's healthcare management reports are designed to help business executives make properly informed and timely business decisions.

Executive Summary

Chapter 1: Introduction to European Pharmaceutical Distribution

The pharmaceutical supply chain

Pharmaceutical manufacturers in the EU

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA)

Biotech drugs

European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE)


European Vaccine Manufacturers (EVM)

Pharmacies in the EU

The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU)

Dispensing doctors

Wholesalers in the EU

Groupement International de la Repartition Pharmaceutique (GIRP)

The hospital sector


History of the pharmaceutical supply chain

Dynamics in the supply chain

Relationships within the supply chain

Vertical integration

New changes in the supply change

Outlook for the supply chain

Case study: tax-efficient supply chain management

Global perspectives for European pharmaceutical distribution

Case study: consolidation among US pharmaceutical wholesalers

Case study: US wholesalers poised to enter Europe

Case study: US analysis of the DTP model

European status of the supply chain

European market harmonisation and pharmaceutical distribution

The politics of EU healthcare

The EU

History of the EU

The set-up of the EU

EU law

Primary legislation

Secondary legislation


Decision-making in the EU

The institutions of the EU

The European Economic Area (EEA)

The creation of the EEA

EU enlargement and the EEA

The euro

The euro and pharmaceuticals

Case study: Greek wholesalers challenge GlaxoSmithKline at the ECJ

Chapter 2: Pharmaceutical Wholesaling in Europe

The role of the pharmaceutical wholesaler

Channels of distribution


alers and the Single European Market


aler opposition to supply quotas

Wholesaler views of direct-to-pharmacy distribution

Case study: GIRP dispute with Alliance Boots over DTP agreements

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions

EU harmonisation and the outlook for pan-European wholesaling

The major players in pan-European wholesaling

Celesio AG

The Phoenix Group


Alliance Boots

European regulations for wholesalers

Guidelines on Good Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use (94/C 63/03)

Lack of harmonisation and the supply chain

Wholesaler technology solutions

Electronic data interchange

Collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment

Enterprise resource planning

Wholesalers develop value-added services

Case study: Alliance Boots launches online health portal

Order fulfilment packages

Database technology

Electronic point-of-sale technology


European wholesaler opinions on technological solutions

Warehouse technology

Dispensing technology

Future systems

Case study: Celesio buys infrastructure services from Hewlett-Packard

Consumers and e-commerce

Pharmaceutical distribution in UK

Pharmaceutical distribution in France

Pharmaceutical distribution in Germany

Case study: US mail-order distributor explores German market

Pharmaceutical distribution in Italy

Pharmaceutical distribution in Spain

Pharmaceutical distribution in Switzerland

Pharmaceutical distribution in Poland

Case study: Polska Grupa Farmaceutyczna expands beyond national market

Chapter 3: The European Pharmaceutical Industry and Distribution

The pharmaceutical market

Pharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe

The pharmaceutical industry and the supply chain

Case study: the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI)

Cost containment

Pricing in Europe

Case study: the Common European Drug Database project

Cost-effectiveness reviews

Parallel trade in the EU


Case study: cost containment in the UK

The negative impact of cost containment

Case study: Europe's Innovative Medicines Initiative


Manufacturers exert control over the UK supply chain

The Office of Fair Trading investigation

UK Government response to Office of Fair Trading inquiry

Implications of changes in the supply chain

Service standards to patients

Rationale behind changes in the supply chain

Pfizer's feedback on DTP

Criticism of Pfizer's DTP scheme by UK pharmacists

Case study: Pfizer UK's DTP website

Reaction to the Office of Fair Trading inquiry

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee's online survey on Pfizer's DTP scheme

AstraZeneca changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Sanofi-Aventis changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Napp Pharmaceuticals changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Novartis changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Eli Lilly changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Astellas adopts DTP for transplant medicines in the UK

Reduced wholesaling

UCB changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Roche changes its UK supply chain arrangements

Launch of DTP schemes in Poland

Chapter 4: Protecting the European Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Stability of the European pharmaceutical supply chain

Safeguarding the European supply chain

Product shortages in the supply chain

Case study: production plant issues cause European vaccine shortages

Parallel trade

Parallel trade and disruption to the supply chain

Case study: GlaxoSmithKline's Spanish dual-pricing strategy

Case study: parallel trade leads to drug shortages in Greece

Traceability throughout the supply chain

Counterfeit products

Mediq tackles counterfeit insulin needles in the Netherlands

Case study: Spain positions itself as supply chain pioneer

Counterfeiting trends

Counterfeiting and the European supply chain

Case study: joint meeting between EU customs administrations and pharmaceutical companies

European anti-counterfeiting measures

EFPIA combats counterfeiting

The MHRA's anti-counterfeiting strategy in the UK

Case study: Sanofi-Aventis's anti-counterfeiting initiative

Case study: shock tactics in UK public anti-counterfeit campaign

The International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT)

The Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI)

Case study: AstraZeneca opts for mass serialisation to prevent counterfeiting

Using nanotechnology to combat counterfeiting

Future perspectives on European anti-counterfeiting measures

Internet trading

Case study:


List of Figures

Figure 1.1 Outline of the supply chain

Figure 1.2 Number of public pharmacies in Western Europe

Figure 1.3 Number of public pharmacies in Eastern Europe

Figure 1.4 Dispensing doctors in Europe

Figure 1.5 Major Western European pharmaceutical wholesale markets

Figure 1.6 Emerging Central and Eastern European pharmaceutical wholesale markets

Figure 1.7 Number of hospital pharmacies in Western Europe

Figure 1.8 Number of hospital pharmacies in Eastern Europe

Figure 1.9 Corporate tax rate on profit (2009)

Figure 2.1 Number of full-line wholesalers in Western Europe

Figure 2.2 Number of wholesaler warehouses in Western Europe

Figure 2.3 Number of full-line wholesalers in Eastern Europe

Figure 2.4 Celesio wholesale revenue development

Figure 2.5 Celesio wholesale revenue by market

Figure 2.6 Celesio pharmacy revenue by market

Figure 2.7 Phoenix turnover

Figure 2.8 Mediq net sales

Figure 2.9 Mediq revenue by market

Figure 2.10 Alliance Boots 2009 revenue by division

Figure 2.11 Alliance Boots 2009 wholesale revenue by market

Figure 3.1 Pharmaceutical R&D expenditure in Europe, by year

Figure 3.2 Pharmaceutical R&D expenditure across Europe, by country

Figure 3.3 Employment in the European pharmaceutical industry

Figure 3.4 The Common European Drug Database

Figure 3.5 Share of parallel imports in European pharmacy markets

Figure 3.6 Comparison of pharmaceutical R&D expenditure in Europe and the US

Figure 3.7 UK pharmacy respondent views on potential costs of setting up a separate Pfizer account for DTP

Figure 4.1 Geographical split of reported counterfeiting incidents

Figure 4.2 EFPIA standardised identification solution for pharmaceutical products

Figure 4.3 Total number of reported counterfeiting incidents

Figure 4.4 Counterfeiting arrests by region

List of Tables

Table 1.1 Types of manufacturer medicines

Table 1.2 The institutions of the EU

Table 1.3 Adoption of the euro

Table 2.1 Mediq's activities in Europe

Table 2.2 Summary of GDP guidelines

Table 2.3 The BAPW's Gold Standard of GDP by pharmaceutical wholesalers as endorsed by the MHRA

Table 3.1 The European pharmaceutical pricing environment

Table 3.2 The European environment for generics

Table 3.3 Overall risks of DTP identified by OFT

Table 3.4 Implications of reduced service standards resulting from DTP

Table 4.1 European anti-counterfeiting measures

Table 4.2 Variations in national codification systems

Table 4.3 Key areas of focus for the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT)

To order this report:

Pharmaceutical Industry: The Future of European Pharmaceutical Distribution

More  Market Research Report

Check our  Company Profile, SWOT and Revenue Analysis!

Nicolas Bombourg
US: (805)652-2626
Intl: +1 805-652-2626

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