A McKesson employee in a distribution center


McKesson plays an important role in helping to deliver medication and supplies to customers and patients across North America. To help strengthen our supply chain, McKesson has put strategies in place to mitigate supply impacts and help our customers navigate challenging times.

How We Are Making Our Supply Chain More Resilient

McKesson is building continuous process improvement, redundancy and contingency planning into the system to help provide surety of supply, as well as identify and proactively mitigate potential points of failure.

  • We work closely with supplier and manufacturer partners to optimize our inventory levels despite constraints, secure backup product and alternatives where available, and obtain supply from multiple manufacturers, when possible.
  • We are creating new models and ways of working such as the Critical Care Drug Task Force – a dynamic, cross-functional team of clinical pharmacists and supply chain professionals – to monitor, communicate and respond to supply chain trends and needs.
  • As one of the largest distributors of medicines in the U.S., we have the right scale and solutions to support emerging and diversified suppliers with new product launches to bring greater supply to market.
  • Through ClarusONE Sourcing Services LLP, which is partially owned by McKesson, we utilize best-in-class generics sourcing strategies designed to mitigate supply risk and create more value for our customers and their patients.

Maximizing Intelligence

We harness as close to real-time insights as possible to both the supply and demand sides of the equation to help match those up, anticipate disruptions or shortages, and provide insights for channel participants about how to manage their inventories.

  • We’ve deployed and continue to scale AI capabilities and predictive analytics in an attempt to better forecast drug shortages and take proactive steps to address future issues.
  • Through Ontada and The US Oncology Network, we leverage our unique oncology data and insights to help anticipate the need for potential clinical alternative regimens.
  • Our CoverMyMeds solutions bring together prescribing and dispensing data to strengthen predictive analytics.
  • When there is a drug shortage, we harness our team of clinical experts inclusive of pharmacists and physicians to help predict where the demand will go and ready supply.

Supporting Equitable Access

Through McKesson’s breadth of services and solutions, we support a number of stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem, which gives us a unique lens to understand their needs and help support equitable distribution. For example, as the centralized distributor of COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supply kits, we played a key role in supporting access to the vaccine at point-of-care sites across the U.S.

  • We have an equitable allocation program in place that helps ensure pharmaceuticals are distributed across the country, including to health systems, chain retailers, community pharmacies and care facilities that reach underserved communities and populations.
  • We have a distribution model that allows us to leverage the strength and range of our distribution center network to position inventory and deliver to where it’s needed most.
  • We work to ensure open lines of communication with suppliers to receive improved guidance on product inventory which allows us to adjust our allocation methodology to be more closely in line with supply and prevent interruptions.

Strengthening Security and Safety

We need a safe and secure supply chain that sources and delivers safe, high-quality product to providers and patients, with chain of custody from the manufacturer all the way through to the patient.

  • The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is meant to secure the U.S. supply chain and help protect consumers from exposure to drugs that may be counterfeit, contaminated or otherwise harmful by creating interoperable electronic traceability of products at the lot, unit and serialized package level.
  • Over the last decade, we have worked to help prepare pharmacy customers and manufacturing partners for the implementation of DSCSA, including assisting with defining standards for DSCSA through industry collaboration; collecting Global Location Number (GLN) information, and capturing serialized product identifiers to create DSCSA datasets for customers.
Additional Resources

Leveraging Clinical and Supply Chain Expertise

McKesson’s Critical Care Drug Task Force helps manage the supply chain needs of critical drugs and prepares customers for inventory shortages.

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Managing Drug Shortages and Backorders

While pharmacy leaders can’t control medication shortages, with a proactive pharmaceutical sourcing plan, they can be ready when one occurs.

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Deciphering Drivers Behind Drug Shortages

Explore how pharmacies can strengthen their ability to adapt and endure amidst drug shortages.

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Ensuring Supply Chain Continuity

Jessica White, PharmD, says stakeholders must collaborate, stay engaged and be proactive to maintain a continuous supply chain.

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