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Collaboration and partnership - essential to meet challenges

Alliance Healthcare - May 27, 2022

Collaboration and partnership are essential to meeting our challenges, Juan Guerra tells GIRP Conference

“Collaborations and partnerships are the way to address the challenges being faced across the medicines supply chain”, Juan Guerra, SVP Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare Europe, told the European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP) conference in Berlin this week.

“Everyone is seeing their margins squeezed at present due to inflation and the whole industry is facing problems. We have to be solid partners to both manufacturer clients and pharmacy customers, face into the challenges and create tangible value for all players in the chain ensuring easy and continued access to medicines to communities.” He highlighted how the different business units within Alliance Healthcare are all helping to achieve this..

Juan Guerra was speaking during an expert panel session at GIRP’s 63rd Annual Meeting and Conference, alongside executives from other pharmaceutical and distribution companies – Angelini Pharma, Viatris, and Galenica. They discussed different ways to address key challenges, including inflationary pressures, responding to the environmental challenge, and supporting the health needs of those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The panel noted that different approaches are being put in place to reduce costs, such as rationalising the number of product lines being sold, and digitising workflows to avoid printing paper documents. All companies have made product and cash donations to support the Ukraine response.



There was also a discussion about whether distributors should make fewer deliveries to pharmacies and other customers, which would have environmental as well as financial benefits, but would need to be phased in carefully. Juan Guerra noted that pressure for change was coming from many sides. Health systems are setting targets for their suppliers and distributors, investors in companies are wanting to see clear progress towards reducing emissions and consumers and politicians want action taken. “At Alliance Healthcare, the environment is rising much higher on the agenda.”

Other sessions during the conference included presentations from the medicines regulators in Austria and Germany on the steps being taken to monitor and tackle product shortages. This work will feed in to the development of a European Shortages Monitoring Platform, due to be in place by 2025. Two MEPs joined the meeting virtually to give their views on the ongoing review of EU pharmaceutical legislation. Updated legislation is expected to be released for scrutiny by MEPs and Member States later this year.