Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 109–115 | Cite as

Distribution of pharmaceuticals − a Norwegian logistic perspective

  • Jan Grund
  • Thor-Erik Vartdal


There is a general concern about rising costs of pharmaceutical expences. One political measure is a more efficient distribution system, which can take the form of new channels for retailing. In Norway mail-order pharmacy (MOP) has been brought to the agenda due to the recently proposed law regulating pharmacies (-Apoteklov-), market developments abroad, demand for self-medication, the increase in OTC-products and advances in information technology. Mail-order pharmacy involves direct delivery of medications through postal mail to patients or those responsible for dispensing medication. With reference to the USA, mail-order pharmacy has filled a niche in the market and several other countries are following. We are convinced that it is possible to maintain a high level of service quality in the sense of safety, councelling and compliance, and that there is a potential to develop a model for this distribution form in Norway. We believe that the actors in the Norwegian pharmaceutical market are better served in taking a more active role in this area and where possible initiating pilot projects in mail-order distribution. The pharmacists will continue to play an important role as a retail outlet and should, with their influence over patients, their knowledge and experience, contribute towards developing MOP to be a safe and complementary sales outlet. Developing such a solution demands the right balance between performance and quality on the one hand and efficiency on the other; two criteria, which we believe, do not contradict each other.

Logistics Mail-order pharmacy Pharmaceutical policy Pharmacy retailing Information technology E-commerce 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Grund
    • 1
  • Thor-Erik Vartdal
    • 2
  1. 1.Norwegian School of ManagementSandvikaNorway
  2. 2.Ernst & Young ConsultingOsloNorway

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