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HDMA, SBDA to Integrate Specialty Distribution Advocacy Activities

Monday, June 7, 2010 General News J E 4
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ARLINGTON, Va. and WASHINGTON, June 7 The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), the trade association representing America's primary healthcare distributors, and the Specialty & Biotech Distributors Association, an association dedicated to advancing policies that promote efficient, secure distribution of specialty pharmaceuticals and biologics, today announced that their respective boards of directors have approved a proposal to integrate associations and operations.

The integration will harmonize efforts to address specialty distribution issues related to regulation, legislation and industry; leverage the organizations' combined resources and provide a unified voice for the healthcare distribution industry on issues related to specialty pharmaceuticals.

Specialty pharmaceuticals -- many of which are biologically derived -- are used primarily to treat chronic or rare diseases, typically involve treatment regimens that call for ongoing clinical monitoring and patient education, and frequently require special handling, storage and delivery. The specialty pharmaceutical sector is among the fastest-growing in the healthcare industry. IMS Health estimated the global market to be $134 billion in 2008, growing 8.8 percent from the previous year. The U.S. specialty industry alone makes up nearly half of the global market.

Board members of SBDA will form a new council within HDMA, the Specialty & Biotech Distribution Council, which will be charged with guiding the association's advocacy and industry relations efforts on issues such as reimbursement, pedigree, and risk evaluation and mitigation strategies as they relate specifically to specialty pharmaceutical distribution.

"Bringing our associations together to align our advocacy efforts will provide the healthcare distribution industry with a single, definitive voice on its fastest-growing business segment," said John M. Gray, President and CEO, HDMA. "This will further leverage the distributor's role as the central, vital link in the healthcare supply chain. We will be better poised to bring together the entire supply chain from manufacturers to healthcare providers, to improve the delivery of specialty drugs to the patients who need them most."

"The rapid pace of change surrounding specialty pharmaceuticals and distribution services demands an energetic, nimble response," said John Akscin, President, SBDA and Vice President of Government Relations, McKesson Specialty Care Solutions. "Leveraging the combined resources of HDMA and SBDA will advance our mission of maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the specialty distribution system and will improve our advocacy efforts."

The integration is expected to be finalized by July 1.

About HDMA

HDMA is the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, the vital link in the healthcare system. Each business day, HDMA member companies ensure that more than nine million prescription medicines and healthcare products are safely delivered to more than 165,000 pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, clinics and others nationwide. HDMA and its members work daily to provide value and contain costs, saving the nation's healthcare system an estimated $32 billion per year. For more information, visit www.HealthcareDistribution.org.

About SBDA

The Specialty & Biotech Distributors Association (SBDA) is dedicated to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the specialty distribution system in physician offices and other settings. Together, the six SBDA member companies--AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, Cardinal Health, CuraScript Specialty Distribution, Health Coalition Inc., McKesson Specialty Care Solutions, and US Oncology--represent over ninety percent of the volume of drugs delivered to physician offices in the United States. Specialty distribution operates in all 50 states and 435 Congressional Districts.

SOURCE Healthcare Distribution Management Association
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