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"PARTNERSHIP" WITH MANUFACTURERS IS GOAL OF NEW NWDA CHAIRMAN POLASTRI

Executive Summary

Building a "stronger relationship" between drug wholesalers and manufacturers is a primary objective for the National Wholesale Druggists' Association, incoming NWDA Chairman Joseph Polastri said in his inaugural address at the association's annual meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. Polastri said that this goal is reflected in his theme for his 1990-1991 tenure -- "Building Tomorrow Together." At the annual meeting Polastri succeeded outgoing chairman Erwin Dohmen, chairman and CEO of F. Dohmen Co. Polastri said wholesalers see themselves as the customers of the manufacturers, but manufacturers perceive their customers to be physicians and pharmacists. "I'm not sure we'll ever get manufacturers to think of us as customers," Polastri continued. "But I do think that we can move this relationship to a partnership basis." He added: "Drug wholesalers and drug manufacturers are two distinct entities; we do not work together as effectively as we should." In addition to potential cost savings, Polastri said wholesalers can offer manufacturers other types of benefits, such as promotional support of products going off patent. To help implement his goal, Polastri said he is heading an NWDA group on improving manufacturer relations. He also urged manufacturers to follow the lead of Lilly and Upjohn by establishing wholesaler advisory groups to address distribution problems. In addition, Polastri said he will invite top executives at pharmaceutical manufacturing firms to participate at NWDA meetings. Other NWDA members taking new leadership posts at the meeting include Chairman-elect William Guanell, Newbro Drug president; First Vice Chairman Dwight Steffenson, exec VP at Bergen Brunswig; and Second Vice President John McNamara, Alco Health Services VP-sales and marketing.
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