1. Manufacturer sends FDA-approved medications to distributors like McKesson in bulk. McKesson safely stores the medication until it is delivered to pharmacies.
    2. Distributors - Medications move from manufacturers to pharmacies with the help of distributors like McKesson. Pharmacies may order from multiple distributors. McKesson delivers medications as they are ordered by DEA-registered and state licensed pharmacies, hospitals and more, often within hours.
    3. Patient visits their doctor to address a health concern.
    4. Doctor writes a prescription for medication. Doctors are DEA-registered to prescribe controlled substances, including opioids. Patient goes to pharmacy to receive their medication.
    5. Pharmacy fills the patient’s prescription using the medications the pharmacist ordered from McKesson (or another distributor).

McKesson’s Role in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Fighting Opioid Abuse-Supply ChainAs a pharmaceutical distributor, McKesson operates as one component within the pharmaceutical supply chain, which also includes drug manufacturers, regulatory bodies like the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and state pharmacy boards, insurance companies, prescribing doctors and dispensing pharmacists. The company’s role is to distribute medications provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers – including opioid medications – that are ordered by healthcare entities (such as pharmacies, hospitals, clinics or nursing facilities) that are licensed by the DEA and state regulatory authorities, and only for prescriptions that are written by medical professionals registered by the DEA and licensed by state medical boards to prescribe these medications. McKesson takes seriously its role in helping to protect the safety and integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain.