Case Study

A Small Parcel Delivery Program Saved a Specialty Pharmacy Time and Money

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Situation

A national specialty pharmacy worked around the clock to prepare prescriptions for delivery to local customers. Spikes in volume compounded by staffing challenges meant that small parcels couldn’t always be ready at the fixed pickup times set by large couriers. Moreover, general seasonal shipping peaks caused havoc with pickup schedules. Too often, medically-urgent prescriptions weren’t getting to the patients who needed them in a timely manner, whether that final destination was the home, an infusion facility, or PAES centers.
Each time this happened, the pharmacy risked exposure to loss and damage, as therapies stuck at pickup terminals can spoil when temperature-control packaging goes unrefrigerated. For the pharma last mile trifecta — customer service, compliance, and cost — the specialty provider needed small parcel pickup flexibility that didn’t squeeze margins.

By turning over their small parcel replacement program to USPack, the specialty pharmacy saves 28-32% over the fees charged by the large national delivery services and also benefits from dramatically lower loss and damage insurance claims.

Solution

Hearing of the specialty pharmacy’s struggles, USPack, which handles other aspects of the pharmacy’s final mile needs, proposed a small parcel replacement trial at one location.
The small parcel replacement program began with geofencing technology and mapping out a 40-mile delivery radius around the pharmacy. At parcel drop-off, drivers scan parcel barcodes to check alignment of their location with the stored location data. This ensures deliveries go to the right customer — not someone with that address in a different zip code — and protects the pharmacy against costly HIPAA penalties and other compliance issues.
What’s more, in the event that a delivery can’t be made due to a wrong address or other complication, the driver returns the parcel to the pharmacy the same day — not a general-purpose warehouse — for proper storage until the issue can be resolved.

In one instance during the trial, when that national shipping service couldn’t immediately deliver a $100,000 drug to a customer, USPack rescued the parcel, preventing it from spoiling in the warehouse. Not only did the pharmacy get peace of mind knowing they avoided paying a costly insurance claim, just as crucially, the customer got their prescription intact and on time

Along with employing state-of-the-art technology and decades of industry experience, USPack also makes sure processes and drivers follow pharmaceutical best practices. Given the sensitive and expensive nature of these parcels, there’s no comingling with other retail deliveries. For instance, the pharmacy will never find their chemotherapy infusion treatments co-mingled with auto parts or running shoes. All drivers are oriented on the program, and because they understand what’s being transported and why, they put in the extra effort to ensure parcels are delivered to the right doorstep.

Results

By turning over their small parcel replacement program to USPack, the specialty pharmacy saves 28-32% over the fees charged by the large national delivery services and also benefits from dramatically lower loss and damage insurance claims. They also have much greater flexibility with pickups, scheduling times that make sense for their workflows and customers.

Once they saw the quality of the deliveries and the significant cost savings, the pharmacy expanded its partnership with USPack to 4 more locations — even before the trial ended. Over the subsequent few months, the small parcel replacement program was extended to 10 more locations — with plans to roll out to even more in the future. As the partnership deepens, the specialty pharmacy will see added benefits from the expansion of data-driven routing and delivery insights through USPack’s ADDI portal.

When timeliness, flexibility, and savings are essential to the health of your business, USPack delivers.

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