The current distribution of influenza vaccines to pharmacies and physicians requires significant human resources from public health each October and November. While this model has worked in the past, inefficiencies, wastage, and the new challenges of COVID-19 present an opportunity to shift the existing model for vaccine distribution from public health to one using the pharmaceutical distribution system.
In most parts of the province, the sophisticated supply chain of pharmaceutical distributors serves pharmacies in B.C. with daily, next-day shipment of drug orders. This allows B.C. pharmacies to efficiently manage their extensive drug inventory, because they can rapidly replenish their stock. This rapid, responsive, and efficient supply chain serves B.C. pharmacies and patients well. Efficiencies have been documented in Canadian jurisdictions where the pharmaceutical supply chain manages influenza vaccination delivery.
This report will examine the current distribution system for influenza vaccines in British Columbia and demonstrate the opportunity for cost savings if the existing system shifts to the pharmaceutical distribution network.