Originally published on Sep 26, 2016.

In this week’s post, we explore how the NABP is potentially setting a double-standard as it applies its rules to the Big 3 versus independent distributors.

 

ABC and Walgreens Tie-Up:

In a press release dated March 19, 2013, AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) announced a “Strategic, Long-Term Relationship with Walgreens and Alliance Boots.” It was a match made in heaven – the contract, worth $28 billion in fiscal 2014(1*) tied the purchasing power of ABC to the international Walgreens Boot Alliance, creating a powerhouse in the global pharmaceutical industry.

One of the synergies that ABC acclaimed was that ABC would have “access to generic drugs and related pharmaceutical products through the Walgreens Boots Alliance Development (WBAD) joint venture.”(1*)

UPDATE 9/27/16: Specifically, according to Adam Fein of DrugChannels.net, ABC “has the right to source generic drugs and other products through WBAD. This element is so important that AmerisourceBergen can cancel Walgreens’ equity warrants if WBAD terminates the purchasing agreement.”

The Issue at Hand:

At present, 9/26/16, ABC operates 19 facilities across the US that are VAWD-accredited.

However, the VAWD Policies and Procedure Assessment document(2*) explicitly requires procedures that prohibit a distributor from purchasing pharmaceuticals that were “obtained… under special restricted pricing contracts.”

The Questions:

Does the working relationship between Amerisource and Walgreens (or even Red Oak Sourcing for that matter) conflict with NABP’s VAWD standards in that ABC has access to Walgreens’ special pricing?

If no, how is it legal for NABP to categorically prohibit duly-licensed, independent distributors from accessing the pricing  given to duly-licensed, independent pharmacies?

(1*) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-amerisourcebergen-walgreens-idUSBRE92I0EP20130319

(2*) “VAWD PP 2015.v6 1_22_2016

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