Drug wholesaler Phoenix has beaten rival AAH Pharmaceuticals to win a contract from Novo Nordisk to distribute the Danish-headquartered firm’s products within the UK market.

Phoenix chief executive officer Paul Smith said that being chosen by Novo “underlines that we have the professionalism and capability to operate within the two wholesaler model”. He added that the firm “offers unrivalled coverage to the ‘four nations’ and we have continued to invest in our logistics infrastructure to offer class-leading service levels”.

Mr Smith concluded by noting that the UK is an important market to the Phoenix Group, which is German-owned, “and we are committed to having a full line operation here”.

As for AAH, which is owned by Germany’s Celesio, the firm said that it is disappointed that Novo “has not selected us as one of their partners to distribute their specialist range of products from March 2”. The firm said that one of the strengths AAH has in comparison to other pharmaceutical wholesalers "is the investment we have made and continue to make in our cold chain distribution network and therefore we hope there will be an opportunity to work with Novo in the near future".

AAH concluded that in the meantime, "we will work with Novo and others to seek to minimise any disruption to our customers".