AmerisourceBergen: Time For A Unified Approach to Specialty Services
Thought Leadership In Association with AmerisourceBergen
We used to think about the healthcare world in very discrete customer segments. For example, some of our specialty solutions were very focused on a community oncology physician office orientation. Separately, we also had independent offerings for retail pharmacy, hospitals and health systems. And while this still works in many cases, the reality of the situation is that these segments are consolidating more and more, due to reimbursement changes in the healthcare system.
It is important to note that AmerisourceBergen has always been – and continues to be – a leader in specialty product distribution. As part of our organizational transformation, we had the opportunity to bring together our specialty distribution and full-line distribution in a more seamless and integrated way to deliver a better customer experience, both for downstream customers, the providers, and for the upstream customers, the manufacturers. Amidst all of the change and added pressures we can sometimes all feel in the industry, we know this new operating model will allow customers more time to be focused on growing their businesses and enhancing care for patients.
One, it makes us more efficient; we always had the value proposition of being the most efficient company in our industry and it has helped us significantly from a business continuity standpoint. When you think about all the natural disaster and other weather-related issues that have occurred in the last couple of months, you can see the need for a company like ours to be able to service customers from multiple sites. To give a real-time example of a business continuity issue that we dealt with in the last couple of months, we have a distribution center in Houston that was taken offline due to Hurricane Harvey. In that case, we moved our volume of orders to our Dallas distribution center and delivered those orders into the Houston market as soon as we could access the customer and patient site.
If any of our big distribution centers are impacted, we can move the volume to another distribution center within an hour or so to ensure that patient care is not disrupted.
Secondly, our enhanced distribution network also offers stateof- the-art technology systems, so that our customer ordering is more robust, and so that we can accommodate increased volume. We recently developed a completely new and advanced, e-commerce platform for our customers called ABC Order. For a long time, our customers were ordering online, but what we have now is a more integrated consumer-like experience.
When we went to upgrade our ordering platform, we went out into the market and looked at the best products that were being used for consumer-facing, e-commerce ordering platforms and we chose one of those. Our goal was to make our customer ordering, whether that is in an independent community pharmacy or a health system, as easy and intuitive as if you are at home ordering your running shoes at night. We have rolled this new system out to our independent community pharmacy customers and have received really positive feedback.
Specialty product growth is the fastest growing category in any segment, and we want to make sure that we are aligned for all our customers and their growth. The main thing that we want to make sure people understand is that our realignment emphasizes AmerisourceBergen’s commitment to support specialty care solutions and specialty pharmaceuticals. We are not moving away from specialty, we are bringing all of our resources in AmerisourceBergen to support the growth of specialty products in the marketplace.
We recognize the promise of the specialty pipeline and understand that new, highly valuable, specialty therapies demand a commercialization partner that can evolve and adapt at the pace of product innovation.
Specialty is a growing market and we want to support manufacturers, providers and patients. Specialty product distribution is the core of AmerisourceBergen. As the largest distributor of specialty products with the largest collection of specialty physician networks in the country - spanning oncology, rheumatology, nephrology and other areas – this is more than just an important business area for us. Ensuring patient access to specialty medications is an unwavering commitment. We recognize the promise of the specialty pipeline and understand that new, highly valuable, specialty therapies demand a commercialization partner that can evolve and adapt at the pace of product innovation. Our solutions have been at the forefront of nearly every single biologic and specialty pharmaceutical product that has entered the market over the last 20 years, and we’re ready to apply that expertise to the next generation of ground breaking medical innovation.
At the end of two years, I expect that we will continue to be the preferred choice to bring specialty products to market. And I would expect that we are collaborating with our partners throughout the supply chain to ensure we are innovating to support them in the future.
AmerisourceBergen provides pharmaceutical products, value-driving services and business solutions that improve access to care. Tens of thousands of healthcare providers, veterinary practices and livestock producers trust us as their partner in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Global manufacturers depend on us for services that drive commercial success for their products. Through our daily work—and powered by our 20,000 associates—we are united in our responsibility to create healthier futures. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #11 on the Fortune 500, with more than $145 billion in annual revenue. The company is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa. and has a presence in 50+ countries. Learn more at amerisourcebergen.com.