How to Find an Independent Pharmacy Distributor

Finding an independent pharmacy distributor involves several steps to ensure you partner with a reliable and reputable provider.

Read on to learn how you can find an independent pharmacy distributor.

Explaining Pharmaceutical Industry Distribution

The pharmaceutical industry distribution network plays a crucial role in ensuring that medications and healthcare products reach patients, healthcare providers, and pharmacies efficiently and safely.

Here’s an explanation of how pharmaceutical industry distribution works:

  • Manufacturing: The process begins with pharmaceutical manufacturers producing medications and healthcare products in accordance with regulatory standards and quality control measures. Manufacturers may range from large multinational companies to smaller, specialized firms.
  • Wholesale Distribution: After manufacturing, pharmaceutical products are typically distributed through wholesale distributors. These distributors purchase products in bulk from manufacturers and supply them to various points in the distribution chain, including pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

What to Look for in an Independent Pharmacy Distributor

When selecting a pharmaceutical distributor for your pharmacy, it’s essential to ensure they meet certain criteria to safeguard the integrity of your supply chain and maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

Here are some key attributes to look for:


Ensure that the distributor holds a valid license from the state board of pharmacy where they operate. This licensure demonstrates compliance with state regulations and confirms their authorization to distribute pharmaceutical products legally.

24/7 Access to Pharmacy Services

Drug Distributor Accreditation, formerly known as Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD), is a crucial accreditation program administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). While licensure establishes the legal authority of a pharmaceutical distributor to operate in a particular state, Drug Distributor Accreditation goes a step further in ensuring the credibility, reliability, and safety of pharmaceutical distribution practices.

Here are some key reasons why Drug Distributor Accreditation is essential for pharmaceutical fulfillment:

  • Stringent Standards: Drug Distributor Accreditation sets rigorous standards for wholesale distributors, covering various aspects of operations, including facility and personnel requirements, quality assurance practices, storage and handling procedures, and security measures. These standards exceed the minimum requirements for state licensure and provide an additional layer of assurance regarding the distributor’s compliance with best practices.
  • National Recognition: Drug Distributor Accreditation is recognized nationally by state boards of pharmacy, regulatory agencies, manufacturers, and healthcare providers. Achieving accreditation demonstrates a distributor’s commitment to upholding industry standards and promotes trust and confidence among stakeholders.
  • Risk Mitigation: Accreditation helps mitigate the risk of counterfeit, adulterated, or diverted pharmaceutical products entering the supply chain. Accredited distributors are subject to regular inspections, audits, and ongoing monitoring to ensure adherence to accreditation standards and identify any deviations or non-compliance issues promptly.


Verify that the distributor sources all pharmaceutical products directly from the manufacturer. Direct sourcing reduces the risk of counterfeit, adulterated, or substandard medications entering the supply chain, as products are less likely to have been subjected to unauthorized handling or tampering.


Every pharmaceutical wholesaler should keep a record of their supply chain purchases per their pedigree process. Pedigrees provide a detailed record of each transaction involving a pharmaceutical product, starting from the manufacturer and documenting every subsequent transaction until it reaches the end-user. This traceability allows for accountability and facilitates the identification of the product’s journey through the distribution chain.

Track-and-Trace Compliance

Ensuring compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is crucial for pharmaceutical distributors to uphold traceability and security standards within the supply chain. The DSCSA aims to improve the traceability of pharmaceutical products throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to dispensing. Compliance with DSCSA regulations enables accurate tracking of product movements, facilitating rapid identification and response to issues such as product recalls, counterfeiting, and diversion.

Fill-Rate Accuracy

Fill-rate accuracy is a critical aspect of pharmaceutical distribution that directly impacts patient safety, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Pharmacies should prioritize partnering with distributors that have a proven track record of accuracy and reliability in order fulfillment, thereby ensuring a dependable and trustworthy supply chain relationship.


Timeliness in order fulfillment is essential for pharmacies to maintain patient satisfaction, operational efficiency, and competitive advantage in the healthcare marketplace. Pharmacies should prioritize partnering with distributors that demonstrate a track record of reliability, offer convenient shipping options, and prioritize timely delivery of pharmaceutical products. By doing so, pharmacies can enhance patient care, optimize their operations, and drive business success.

Explore the benefits of using wholesale medicine marketplaces to purchase your healthcare products.
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Ways to Find a Good Independent Pharmacy Distributor

Online Directories

Use online directories specific to pharmaceutical distributors. Websites like Pharmaceutical Online, PharmaSources, and Pharmaceutical Commerce offer searchable databases of distributors. You can filter results by location, product category, and other criteria to find distributors that suit your needs.

Trade Shows and Conferences

Attend pharmaceutical trade shows, conferences, and networking events. These events often feature exhibitions where distributors showcase their products and services. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet potential distributors in person, discuss your requirements, and establish relationships.

Industry Associations

Explore industry associations and networks such as the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) or the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP). These organizations may provide resources and directories of reputable distributors serving the pharmacy industry.

Referrals and Recommendations

Seek recommendations from other pharmacy owners or professionals in the industry. Peers can offer valuable insights into their experiences with different distributors, helping you identify reliable partners.

Online Research and Reviews

Conduct online research to identify independent pharmacy distributors. Explore their websites, review their product offerings, service capabilities, and customer testimonials. Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, or industry-specific forums may also provide insights from other pharmacy owners.

Reach out to Manufacturers

Contact pharmaceutical manufacturers directly and inquire about their authorized distributors. Manufacturers often have partnerships with distributors who carry their products. By contacting manufacturers, you can obtain information about authorized distributors in your area.

Local Networking

Engage in local networking within the pharmacy and healthcare community. Attend local chamber of commerce events, healthcare forums, or professional meetings where you can connect with distributors or professionals who may have recommendations.

Check Regulatory Compliance

Ensure that the distributor you’re considering complies with relevant regulations and has necessary licenses and certifications. This includes verifying compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and any state-specific regulations.

Request Information and Quotes

Once you’ve identified potential distributors, reach out to them to request additional information, product catalogs, pricing, and quotes. Evaluate their responsiveness, customer service, and willingness to accommodate your specific needs.

Visit Facilities and Perform Due Diligence

If possible, visit the facilities of shortlisted distributors to assess their operations, storage capabilities, and quality control measures. Performing due diligence helps ensure that the distributor aligns with your requirements and standards.

By utilizing these methods, you can identify and partner with an independent pharmacy distributor that meets your needs, enhances your supply chain efficiency, and supports the success of your pharmacy business.

Key Takeaways

In a world where convenience is key, why not offer your customers the ultimate convenience by going digital? With pharmaceutical e-commerce marketplaces, your pharmacy can reach new heights while providing exceptional service to your valued customers.

At RxRise, we offer over 30,000 pharmaceutical and healthcare products at competitive prices, including both name-brand medications and generic alternatives. Our diverse group of buyers and partnerships with distributors and manufacturers ensure that you receive the highest-quality medications available on the market. Our marketplace also provides a wide range of testing options, including COVID-19 and flu tests, from trusted brands like FlowFlex and iHealth. In addition, we offer top-quality medical supplies and CGMs from brands like Dexcom and Omnipods. We understand the importance of trustworthy and high-quality products in the healthcare industry. And if you’re a pharmacy distributor, manufacturer, or healthcare seller, we’ve got you covered too. RxRise can help expand your channels and connect you with the right buyers. Reach out to us today to schedule a demo of our marketplace.


We are the new solution for direct access in the pharmaceutical supply chain. Our goal is to have one marketplace platform that lists Rx dated, short-dated, surplus, OTC and medical supplies directly to buyers nationwide. Our successful pharmacy buyers today, live in a world where they have visibility to competitive, transparent pricing and products that aren’t available in traditional channels.

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