GMD Pharma Solutions

Providing Distribution and Peace of Mind for the Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry

The idea behind the launch of GMD PharmaSolutions was the realization that the handling of the pharmaceutical products had been problematic in regards to high-end medical products and drugs. The company took it upon itself to create a niche on the distribution side of the pharmaceutical and life science industries. The company started to work with the manufacturers to assure that specialized and ambience-sensitive drugs could be distributed in the right way.

Over the years the company grew into a national distributor for several major Canadian pharmaceutical companies, distributing products mainly to clinics and physicians.

GMD PharmaSolutions provides supply chain services to the life science and pharmaceutical industries in Canada. The company’s Good Manufacturing Practice facility in Oakville, Ont. offers pharmaceutical companies with distribution support across a wide range of products including pharmaceuticals, biological products, bulk API, natural health products, controlled substances, medical devices, cells, tissues and organs, providing a complete solution to the life sciences industry in the Canadian market. The company currently serves about 30 clients, with half of the distribution focusing on biological products and the remainder on the distribution of generic products, giving the generic manufacturers the unique opportunity to create a direct distribution through GMD PharmaSolutions.

Steve Duffield, CEO of GMD PharmaSolutions, has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 29 years, and has experience working for some of the largest pharmaceutical brands in Canada. Duffield was an active member of the Canadian Association of Pharmaceutical Distribution Management, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, and also launched two consumer products companies in Canada. Duffield told The Canadian Business Journal about GMD PharmaSolutions, “We work with manufacturers, creating various distribution models and alternatives to the traditional drug wholesale models. We create specific programs for our clients based on their distribution needs, enabling them to choose the most suitable distribution solution. We sit down with our clients and discuss their needs, for example the specific environment such as temperature and light sensitivities, what are the specific issues, what are they trying to accomplish, and how they want to help their customer — whether it’s a consumer or a physician. The main question is ‘How can we make it easier for these pharmaceutical companies’ clients to get the drugs they require and need more efficiently?’ To accommodate the pharmaceutical companies’ needs, we invest into the distribution models they require. We currently have two or three clients we have invested in substantially in order to provide the consumer with the product quicker and safer.”

The maintenance of the required storage temperatures for the more sensitive drugs represents one of the main challenges of the pharmaceutical industry, and GMD PharmaSolutions took this challenge head-on.To support the needs of its pharmaceutical clients, the company’s 50,000 square foot facility offers state-of-the-art control systems. The facility has eight temperature-specific areas which are under constant control of the company monitoring systems. Some of these areas need to stay within three-degree temperature range. “As we came into the industry to provide exactly this level of control, we’ve built our facility to provide this degree of control. Our competitors are not as specialized and therefore can’t offer such product control. Also, our distribution is done using temperature-controlled trucks and coolers to maintain the manufacturers’ requirements.

“Most of the drugs we distribute have strict temperature guidelines, for example some drugs require us to maintain temperature within a few degrees range [between two and eight degrees Celsius], but some need to be held at -20 degrees; so when we create distribution menus for our clients, we create them so these drugs are held at these temperatures from manufacturing, through distribution channels, all the way to the client. We have close monitoring systems that maintain these temperatures. For example, we supply retinal surgeons, so we assure that when the drug leaves our building it is stored in  the proper manner. Many of our competitors do not offer such service, so this is what we invest in — our apparatus, and our facilities.”

Once GMD PharmaSolutions enters into a service agreement with a pharmaceutical company, the change means a better overall control over pharmaceutical products. Duffield mentioned an example of how GMD PharmaSolutions improved a distribution channel. “In regards to one of the drugs we distribute, the original model was that the physician would order the drug directly from the manufacturer, and get fully involved in the whole ordering process, and was fully responsible for the storage. However this is a very sensitive pharmaceutical product, and we take on the responsibility that the physicians have a suitable fridge for storage, and that the product is in the fridge at all times, partially taking on the ordering process for the physicians.”

GMD PharmaSolutions continues to create custom solutions one product at the time, offering the best in product control for the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, and taking on the failures of traditional pharmaceutical distribution.