How COVID-19 Has Affected Distribution of Drug Samples

Updated on September 23, 2020

Some projections have estimated that the global market for pharmaceuticals will be worth over $1.1 trillion by next year.

However, as has been the case for businesses in many areas, pharmaceutical enterprises have suffered because of COVID-19 restrictions. While demand for their goods may have actually increased in a lot of cases, the procedures required to get drugs from labs to shelves have become far more difficult to work out.

Drug samples offer a great example of this. The way in which they get from one place to another has changed considerably because of the pandemic.

Read on to learn more about how COVID-19 has affected the distribution of drug samples.

What Are Drug Samples?

Before you buy a large quantity of anything, you want to sample it first. Doctors are permitted to give samples of drugs to patients before prescribing them. This helps the patient to make an educated choice about the course of treatment they’re set to undertake.

What Usually Happens in Terms of the Distribution of Drug Samples?

The Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987 makes a number of requirements in terms of the distribution of drugs via mail. There are rules that relate to the storage and handling of medications, as well as the keeping of records in relation to their delivery. 

Whether you work as a provider of medical care or a pharmaceutical company operative, you’ll know how much work can go into complying with various regulations. This site can help you with Sunshine Act compliance, saving you time and stress.

What Effect Has COVID-19 Had?

Physical distancing has been the main buzzword in coronavirus management over the last few months. It’s also the reason why drug sample distribution has become more difficult. However, policymakers have eased some of the normal restrictions around distribution in response to the pandemic. 

One important change relates to the requirement that a delivery is signed for when it reaches a doctor’s office. The FDA has said that they will allow manufacturers to use alternate forms of recordkeeping if that would promote safety. 

Manufacturers can now also send samples directly to the homes of patients, a practice that is usually prohibited.

This is especially beneficial for patients with serious underlying conditions, as they need to limit their exposure to the outside world as much as possible.

Keeping Up to Speed at a Difficult Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life more difficult for anyone in any kind of business. The distribution of drug samples is no different.

However, the new rules and practices in this area are helping distributors adapt to the “new normal.” Drug samples are essential for patients that want to get the opportunity to assess their responses to a drug before committing to a course of treatment. Now, they can do so without fear of increasing their virus risk.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.