With a focus on SMBs in the wholesale and distribution industry, we at Blue Link ERP understand the complexities of buying and selling inventory. It is this understanding that originally helped our team identify a market lacking an affordable, robust wholesale and distribution software solution – the pharmaceutical market. As with any company needing to manage distribution processes, pharmaceutical wholesalers and distributors require sophisticated tools for managing inventory, warehouse operations, selling and shipping product and tracking customer accounts. However, unique to this industry is the need for additional, complex features to help pharmaceutical wholesale distributors adhere to industry regulations and compliance standards set out by the FDA and other governing bodies. It was this understanding that led Blue Link ERP to develop a custom solution for the very sensitive pharmaceutical market back in 2013. As part of our ongoing commitment to our customers, we are continuously upgrading the software to meet changing compliance requirements and are always looking for new opportunities to partner with other leaders in the industry. It is this commitment that led to our official partnership with Five Rivers RX (now under the new brand and company, Pharma Solutions USA Inc) as our outsourced compliance team. To share with you more about how Blue Link ERP and Pharma Solutions are working together, I recently got in touch with Jessica Dunkin, Director of Client Relations at Five Rivers RX and you can read our conversation below.
[Please note that since the writing of this post, Five Rivers RX LLC has merged with NavigateSOM Inc to form Pharma Solutions USA Inc. This merger has not changed the nature of our relationship and adds resources, software features and industry experience to that which is outlined below.]
Samantha: Why don’t you start off by telling us more about yourself and Five Rivers RX.
Jessica: My name is Jessica Dunkin, and I am the Director of Client Relations at Five Rivers RX. At Five Rivers RX, our mission is to support the pharmaceutical supply chain by providing actionable guidance and excellent administrative services with a focus on client care across compliance, commercial, and quality solutions.
Samantha: How does Five Rivers RX help companies in the pharmaceutical industry?
Jessica: Since its inception in 2015, we have been providing a comprehensive suite of solutions for any business along the pharmaceutical supply chain. To name some examples, we conduct state licensing assessments, help companies obtain licenses and manage their renewals, provide quality and compliance support, and help our clients in all aspects of their businesses through working with one of our senior consultants.
Samantha: What would you say are some of the biggest challenges facing the industry today?
Jessica: The continuing consolidation of the drug supply chain. Additionally, misguided legislative action which can have ripple effects throughout the supply chain. We have seen states pass legislation in attempts to control the manufacturing or sale of opioids, for example. This legislation tends to allot the licensing boards the ability to draft new regulations surrounding the sale and or distribution of opioids into their state. This then brings on exuberant fee increases in permits for multiple business models as well as additional taxes for manufacturers. All these things together have caused many entities to stop doing business in certain states thereby creating a situation where both generic and branded products are no longer being sold there.
Samantha: What makes the partnership between Blue Link ERP and Five Rivers RX so great?
Jessica: I am excited about the partnership because of our parallel focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain. In Blue Link ERP, customers get an ERP system with a distinguished customer base. Knowing businesses small and large have trusted Blue Link to handle their inventory management for over 20 years shows Blue Link's dedication to not only supporting the supply chain but also in supplying great service; two things we strive to do.
Samantha: If you were to offer small businesses in the pharmaceutical industry one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jessica: My advice to small businesses in the pharmaceutical industry would be to speak with a knowledgeable consultant regarding state licensing, reporting, and DSCSA requirements as early on in their set up as possible. Something as simple as setting up shop in a state that might exempt their business model could potentially add months to their licensing timeline and thousands of dollars to their budget due to the need to obtain accreditation in lieu of a home state license. This could absolutely affect launch times or even push them into a title model with a wholesaler again costing more money upfront. Knowing basic requirements and timelines around state licensing and other prerequisites could be the difference between a successful launch and an incredibly delayed one.
Working with Five River RX allows us to combine the sophisticated software functionality offered by Blue Link ERP with the in-depth compliance knowledge offered by Five Rivers RX. This allows our team the opportunity to continue to develop important functionality for the pharmaceutical industry while relying on Five Rivers RX to provide insider knowledge of the ever-changing regulations side of the industry.
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