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AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine: OCP stands ready

President Emmanuel Macron has assured his country that by "the end of the summer, we will have offered a vaccine to all French people who want it." Such an ambition cannot be achieved without clearly and quickly involving pharmacists in the vaccination strategy alongside doctors and other health professionals. Now that the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved and available to the French in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it allows pharmacists to be full players in the vaccination strategy.

More than 3,200 OCP colleagues are ready to be mobilized in the coming days, weeks and months to facilitate the management of supplies despite inconsistent volumes and availability. They are also able to optimize their cold chain resources for last mile distribution.

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This health crisis is a moment of truth. By relying on pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacists, the Government can demonstrate how public health common sense and pragmatism can best manage such a complex challenge. The depth of the crisis should not obscure what has always worked well. France is fortunate to have equipped itself with efficient national pharmaceutical logistics which have long transported products that need to be kept cold.

Hubert OLIVIER, president of the OCP group, believes that: "It is essential that the Government rely on those whose job it is to manage complex and often constrained supply; just like the work we did behind the scenes distributing more than 230 million masks to pharmacists between March and October last year on behalf of the State and distributing nearly 500,000 flu vaccines in just two months.

“Without a combination of pharmaceutical distribution and community pharmacy, the state risks creating an unmanageable and ill-defined system. I welcome the pragmatic decision to avoid such unnecessary additional hardship at a time when it is important to bring together all the forces that have proven their competence and effectiveness during this entire health crisis. Without pharmaceutical distribution and without pharmacists, the Government would deprive the French of precious health networks anchored in local communities. It is essential to reassure people about our country’s ability to adapt to supply tensions, to be responsive."

Pharmacies know how to manage patient access to vaccines and can advise on the issues surrounding a mass vaccination programme, the volumes required and the timely administration of the doses. In particular, pharmacists, can facilitate widespread and continuous improvement in immunization coverage alongside other health professionals.

About the Pharmaceutical Commercial Office
OCP is a leader of a profession whose standards and missions are long defined. The company is the indispensable link between pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacists by providing pharmaceutical logistics and efficient services that enable them to fulfil their role as health professionals. Today, the company, led by its president Hubert OLIVIER, employs 3,200 people throughout France and has almost 32% market share. OCP distributes 2 million boxes of medicines daily to 16,000 customer pharmacies (including 2,000 hospital pharmacies), from a range of 36,000 available referrals and a territorial network of 43 establishments.

Since 2014, OCP has belonged to the McKesson group, one of the world leaders in healthcare services and drug logistics. McKesson operates through networks of independent pharmacists in France; Pharmactiv, Pharmacie Référence and Réseau Santé which represent more than 3,000 members, and owns a central purchasing body, DépoTrade.

Contact OCP
Clotilde LARROSE
Director of Public Affairs and Communication

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