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European Commission policymakers visit Alloga and Alliance Healthcare Netherlands

Alloga Netherlands - July 2023

In June 2023, 14 representatives from the European Commission, representing DG HERA, DG SANTE and DG GROW, made a working visit to Alloga and Alliance Healthcare in Veghel, Netherlands. The purpose of the visit was for the EU policymakers to gain a better understanding of logistics processes and supply chain management in both pre-wholesale and pharmaceutical wholesaling, and to experience the scale of our operations, in relation to their work on medicines shortages and stockpiling.

All three Directorates have an important role in the development of European health policy. The new Directorate-General for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (DG HERA) was set up to assist the prevention, detection and rapid response to health emergencies. DG HERA is responsible for developing an EU strategy for stockpiling critical medicines in relation to crisis and preparedness. The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) covers availability policy and medicines regulation as part of its work and is supporting the current revision of the EU’s pharmaceutical legislation. The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, SMEs and Entrepreneurship (DG GROW) has a particular interest in strategic supply chains like pharmaceuticals.

Chris Williams (SVP, International MD, Alloga Europe & ICS) welcomed the visitors and explained Alloga’s role in pre-wholesale (or third-party logistics, 3PL) within the pharmaceutical supply chain, stressing Alloga’s pan-European reach. Rob van Ras (Director, Alloga and Manufacturer Services, Alliance Healthcare NL) explained Alloga's Dutch activities in Veghel.

Guests were then given a tour by Thomas Morshuis (Commercial Sr. Director, Alloga Europe) and David de Wit (Head of Sales, Alloga NL) through Alloga's fully sustainable distribution center. There was much for the visitors to see, learn and walk through during the tour of the distribution centre which is 12 football fields in size, including our fully temperature controlled facilities, for both cold-chain (2-8C) and frozen (-20C) products.

Alliance Healthcare is a division of AmerisourceBergen. After lunch, Beth Mitchell (VP, US Public Policy & Advocacy, AmerisourceBergen) joined the event virtually to give the US perspective on policy regarding critical and emergency drug stockpiling.

The concluding talk by Rob Peters (Finance Director, Alliance Healthcare NL) covered the role of wholesalers within the distribution of medicines and included current topics such as the medicine shortages in the Netherlands and the EU and also the formation of the so-called “iron stock” in the Netherlands. Pharmaceutical wholesalers have been required by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport since this year to maintain a 4-week supply, with the aim of reducing drug shortages. In his lecture, Rob also discussed the role that Alliance Healthcare has in distribution from pallet to patient.

The fact-finding trip was organised by the Public Affairs team at Alliance Healthcare Europe. Jonathan Buisson (Head of Public Affairs, Europe) was delighted by the success of the visit. “Our guests had many questions about our operations and were clearly impressed with the scale of Alloga's facilities in Veghel. It is very important to have a good relationship with policymakers and we hope to continue this next year when the new Alliance Healthcare warehouse opens. In the meantime, will be looking to contribute to the forthcoming European Stockpiling Strategy that DG HERA is drawing up.”

In the spring of 2024, Alliance Healthcare will open a second distribution center in Veghel. This distribution center is about 6 football fields in size, fully sustainably built and will be highly automated. From here, medications will soon be delivered directly to community pharmacies, dispensing general practitioners, outpatient pharmacies and hospitals. Our guests immediately expressed their desire for a second working visit.