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The changing role of wholesalers and logistics service providers in pharmaceutical supply chains: will it\ud lead to greater sustainability?

By Christopher J. Savage, E. Lambourdiere and E. Corbin


Purpose\ud Pharmaceutical distributors and wholesalers have played a key part in the pharmaceutical products\ud supply chains in the United Kingdom and the USA for many years (HDMA, 2009). Their role is\ud changing as control of the “space” between manufacturers and retailers has become contested\ud (Corbin, 2006; PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2007; Savage and al., 2006), the economical crisis has\ud taken hold and governments on both sides of the Atlantic have brought forward new legislation\ud (Vecchione, 2009). This paper aims to show what the collaborative logistics practices of wholesalers\ud are and how the strategies developed by the logistics service providers may make the pharmaceutical\ud supply chain more sustainable.\ud Research Approach\ud This study analyses documents, websites and interviews of managers from British and American\ud wholesalers and logistics service providers. We employed the Graneheim and Lundman (2004)\ud methods to perform our content analysis. The software Nvivo 8 was used to analyse the collaborative\ud logistics strategies of wholesalers and logistics service providers of the pharmaceutical supply chain,\ud which are destined to improve its sustainability.\ud Findings and Originality\ud Logistics strategies developed by wholesalers and those applied by logistics service providers in\ud response to or in collaboration with manufacturers have been identified (Corbin, 2009). The features\ud of these operators that are now competing to establish collaborative relationships with manufacturers\ud and retailers have been evaluated to try to determine whether the concepts can help a more\ud sustainable supply chain to evolve.\ud Research Impact\ud Many types of collaborative logistics strategies have been studied in other sectors of activity; however\ud due to the traditional culture of privacy in the pharmaceutical supply chain, some may not have been\ud explored yet.\ud Practical Impact\ud For many years, drug distribution management in Great Britain and in the USA has been\ud characterised by business and adversarial relationships. The introduction of sustainable business\ud processes in the pharmaceutical supply chain is very recent. This paper presents a first attempt to\ud highlight, from a comparative perspective, the business processes in the domain of the strategic\ud logistics management of drug suppl

Topics: HB, HD
Publisher: The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:8765

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