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Questions to Ask a Pharmaceutical Distributor Before Working With Them

ByDave Stopher

Mar 7, 2020 #Business

Is your pharmacy looking to greater variety of healthcare products? Ask the pharmaceutical manufacturers these important questions before working with them.

Many pharmacists spend their whole career working in someone else’s pharmacy, but few open their own pharmacy. If you’re one of the brave few starting a pharmacy, then you know that there are a lot of steps to take before you’re ready to open your doors. The most important step is finding a pharmaceutical distributor so you actually have inventory.

Not sure how to find one? Read on to learn what to ask potential distributors before signing on the dotted line!

Where Do You Source Your Products?

This is an incredibly important question whenever you’re considering hiring a pharmaceutical distributor. When you ask about the source of the pharmaceutical products they’re selling, you’re trying to determine whether the distributor gets their products from the manufacturer or from a third-party source.

The answer to this question can impact the amount of money you’ll pay for the product and the quality of the product. The further away you get from the manufacturer, the more you’ll pay.

Do the Products Have Serial Numbers?

Another important determinant of quality is whether the products they sell are labeled with unique serial numbers. This comes out of concern that certain products have been falsified and distributed to pharmacies.

As a result of this concern, the UK has implemented the Falsified Medicines Directive which mandates that all pharmaceuticals have a unique serial number. That means, if a distributor’s products do not have unique serial numbers, you need to look for another distributor.

How Do You Store and Ship?

Some pharmaceuticals can handle a range of storage and transportation conditions. Others are quite delicate. A good distributor will give you a lowdown on how they store their products and monitor the temperature of the products during transportation.

Move on if they aren’t willing to share this information with you.

Can You Provide References?

Any distribution company will make a variety of claims that make their service appear to be the way to go. Unfortunately, not all distributors are actually able to back up those claims. The best way to discern between an underwhelming distributor and the real deal is to ask for references.

A good pharmaceutical wholesaler will be able to provide you with a minimum of three references to back up their claims. Ideally, you’ll want to ask to whom they currently supply this product and those clients would be willing to talk to you about their experience.

Distributors who cannot provide references may not have had previous clients or they don’t have happy customers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to figure out why they don’t have references!

Ready to Find a Pharmaceutical Distributor?

Finding a quality pharmaceutical distributor can mean the difference between having the ability to fulfill your customers’ prescriptions on-demand or making them wait. These four questions will point you in the right direction and have you on the road to success!

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