UCB is the latest firm to announce changes to the way it distributes its drugs in a bid to improve supply chain efficiency.

The Belgium-headquartered company says that it has appointed AAH Pharmaceuticals, Alliance Healthcare (formerly known as UniChem) and Phoenix Healthcare as its distributors in the UK. The changes will take effect from Sunday.

UCB argues that the new distribution model, which reduces the number of wholesalers it uses, aims to “improve the availability and efficiency of access” to medicines “by partnering with three of the industry’s leading providers”. Matthew Speers, managing director for UCB UK and Ireland, comments, “We have listened to our customers and are very happy to be working with the distribution industry leaders to ensure our patients’ needs are met”.

He added that “these partnerships will allow us to better manage the supply of our products to patients at all times.” UCB added that distribution of its Neupro (rotigotine) range of patches for Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome remains available solely from Alliance.