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HDMA, Specialty & Biotech Distributors Association to merge

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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) and the Specialty & Biotech Distributors Association (SBDA) plan to integrate associations and operations.

HDMA said Monday that both of the pharmaceuticals distribution associations’ boards have approved a proposal to merge.

Under the plan, SBDA board members would 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.

The integration is expected to be finalized by July 1, according to HDMA.

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

HDMA and SBDA said 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 health care distribution industry on issues related to specialty pharmaceuticals.

"The rapid pace of change surrounding specialty pharmaceuticals and distribution services demands an energetic, nimble response," commented John Akscin, president of the SBDA and vice president of government relations for 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 association’s noted that specialty pharmaceuticals is among the fastest-growing health care sectors. IMS Health estimated the global market at $134 billion in 2008, up 8.8% from the previous year, and the U.S. specialty pharmaceuticals industry alone accounts for nearly half of the world market, they said.


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