20 Years Anniversary

On 26 October 2016, the Hungarian Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (HAPW) celebrated its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, the Association held a conference with renowned Hungarian and foreign speakers and guests representing the health government, the operators of the medicine distribution chain, the relevant regulatory authorities, the partner associations, and all former and current leaders who have made significant contributions to the development of pharmaceutical wholesale trade.

In his welcome speech, Dr Sándor Küttel, chairman of the organization, gave an outline of the past 20 years of the Hungarian pharmaceutical wholesale trade, emphasizing that in pharmaceutical supply, the primary criterion is safety, in other words, patients should have access to the medicines they need at the right time and place. Wholesale trade plays a major role in this, forwarding medicines, which are products requiring special storage and transport conditions, from the manufacturer to the patients. A particularly important task is to ensure that no falsified medicine can enter the legal pharmaceutical distribution chain.

In his speech, Dr Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs, State Secretary responsible for health care, Ministry of Human Capacities welcomed HAPW and gave a brief summary of the current situation of health care and the long-term development prospects.

The European Healthcare Distribution Association (GIRP), of which HAPW is a full member, was represented by René Jenny, President and Monika Derecque-Pois, Director General. In their speech, they called the attention to the future strategic challenges to be addressed by the distributors of health care products. Full-line wholesalers in Europe (selling both medicinal products and complementary health products) represent an indispensable link in ensuring reliable, sustainable and safe medicine supply. Pharmaceutical wholesalers will need to cope with future challenges. Each country has a different economic situation, the market is in constant change; newly appearing commercial models and value-added services represent a strategic challenge for them.

Regarding the challenges faced by Hungarian health care, Dr József Bodrogi, health economist gave some examples to introduce the health status of the Hungarian population as compared to neighboring countries, and shortly discussed matters related to health expenditures, the supply system and financing.

Dr Lívia Ilku, director of the Hungarian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Organization (MAGYOSZ) said that the establishment of the Hungarian National Medicines Verification Organization was underway within the framework of cooperation with the European Medicines Verification Organization. By a code system to be applied on the label of medicinal products, the system to be developed together by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers is intended to prevent falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain.

Dr Antal Feller, HAPW Vice-President gave a summary of the results of the HAPW members as a whole. The 6 member companies has a more than 90% share of the market, the number of products distributed by them is more than 15,000, which are supplied to the wholesalers by 450 manufacturers. Wholesalers forward these medicines and other complementary health products, 90% of which is ordered electronically, to 2,317 community pharmacies and 140 inpatient medical institutions. Wholesalers ensure the delivery of 325 million boxes a year. As a result of strict quality assurance, no falsified medicines can reach patients through the closed distribution channel. In addition, Dr Antal Feller introduced the impacts of the legislation related to pharmaceutical distribution on pharmaceutical wholesalers.

At the conference, the Pro Sanitate Agiliori award, which was recently established by HAPW, was given to five persons.

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