Letter from the MD
The time has come to summarise yet another year together. As in previous years, I would like to raise a few important developments from the past year and close by looking to the future...
Let me begin with an insight. In my experience, most principals appreciate their collaboration with Tamro, although we do need to improve at describing exactly what working with us in the Swedish market entails. Primarily, it concerns three areas: logistics, strategy and services.
Most of our principals associate Tamro with logistics, which is quite natural since we distribute their products in the Swedish market. But logistics is more than just distribution. It also encompasses providing good service to our principals' customers, such as pharmacies and hospitals. Our customer service has the market's most favourable opening hours and ensures that your products are available. We receive much positive feedback from different areas of the Swedish pharmaceutical logistics chain that our service is of the highest quality, and the Swedish Pharmacy Association's missive to the Swedish government's Pharmacies Committee clearly indicates which company offers the highest service level.
Strategy is about making choices. In conjunction with the deregulation of the Swedish pharmacy market in 2009, Tamro made a clear choice to promote the DTP distribution model. Over the past year, we have worked together with principals and industry associations to further refine the distribution system, which when correctly utilised is effective and quality-assured – and also offers Swedish patients good service.
Finally, services is an area experiencing strong growth at Tamro. Alongside our regular distribution service, we now offer around forty other services. One example of a new service that emerged last year is our tender service, which in brief entails monitoring tenders for pharmaceuticals issued by Swedish county councils. We also launched All-in-One, our group-wide service concept.
New agreements and initiatives
AbbVie chose to return to Tamro for its distribution needs and we made a start on 1 January this year. Speaking of returns, since last summer the destruction needs of almost all pharmacies are fulfilled by our destruction service. We are also pleased to announce that Scandinavian Biopharma and Astra Zeneca have chosen Tamro for vaccine distribution.
In 2016 Tamro created a new organisation focused on business. We also continued our initiative on LinkedIn and by year-end had 760 followers. Similarly, we saw the successful introduction of our upgraded ERP system E1 towards the end of the year.
The Pharmacies Committee
Åsa Kullengren's committee made a tentative start, but attracted more of our interest during the autumn when the matter of distribution was raised on a more serious level. Tamro decided early on to appoint a group to highlight factual findings, such as how the 24-hour rule ought to be interpreted and how the returns guidelines ought to be applied. The Pharmacies Committee also made a study visit to our facility in Kungens Kurva.
The Swedish Pharmacy Association submitted a substantial missive to the Pharmacies Committee, showing that "Distributor 2" (Tamro) best complied with the 24-hour rule. Tamro has been clear in its dealings with the Pharmacies Committee: we consider it important that patients are able to receive their medicines no later than the following day.
What will happen in 2017?
At least as much as in 2016, I would say. The Pharmacies Committee will continue with its expanded directive wherein the issue of dosages is to be re-examined and we believe that the 24-hour rule will be more clearly defined. Parallel to this, a new parliamentary committee has been appointed to look at pricing and we expect many will want to follow developments, including Tamro. Regardless of committee findings, Tamro stands firm by DTP and will continue as the market's only independent logistics service provider.
We will launch several new services, including sales support and market access. Come spring a new website will see the light of day, encompassing major improvements. The spring will also see the commissioning of an OSR (automated mini warehouse) at our facility in Gothenburg. Tamrodagen will be held on 23 March at Vasateatern in Stockholm.