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Pharmacy operators pitch expertise for COVID-19 vaccine plan

Mr Vincent chairs the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) as well as serving as the chief executive of API, the ASX-listed operator that runs the Priceline Pharmacy brand as well as being a product wholesaler.

He offered the industry expertise about the rollout on behalf of the NPSA, whose members are responsible for storing and sending medicines across the country, including distribution of annual flu vaccines.

“Whatever the requirements, the existing NPSA infrastructure and logistics management skills have
proven capable through bushfires emergencies and the early COVID-19 demands and is again capable of being part of the solution,” Mr Vincent said.

Fellow ASX-listed wholesaler Sigma Healthcare has also said it hopes to play a role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines which make their way to market.

“We’re talking to a range of government bodies to make sure they actively consider the network that’s already available to distribute the vaccine,” chief executive Mark Hooper said after unveiling Sigma’s half-year financial results last week.

The federal government has also been seeking feedback on vaccine deployment. It is currently tendering for an external provider to provide an independent assessment of the 2020 influenza season to identify what improvements might be needed to systems ahead of a COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“It is timely to assess the capability, capacity and potential constraints of the current system with respect to the roll out of future influenza seasons, as well as a potential COVID-19 program,” the department’s listing on AusTender states.

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