VAWD Accreditation for a Safer Supply Chain: A Closer Look

Most supply chains involve some degree of complexity, whether it results from inbound supplier coordination or the difficulties of matching supply and demand on the market. The pharmaceutical supply chain, though, involves a level of complexity that puts it in a class by itself.

The factors amplifying this supply chain complexity include continuous market change, intense competitive pressures, changes in regulatory requirements, proliferating product specialization, and shifting demand patterns that are notoriously difficult to predict, even with highly sophisticated statistical tools and models.

In addition, the stakes are high. Patients rely on safe, timely delivery of drugs. Counterfeit, diverted, or contaminated pharmaceutical products can introduce enormous risk with far-reaching ramifications for manufacturers, distributors, and patients. Therefore, accreditation plays a critical role in wholesale drug distribution risk management to ensure compliance and reduce risk. Let’s take a closer look at the accreditation standards and process.

What is VAWD® accreditation?

The Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors® (VAWD®) accreditation is specifically for facilities that are part of the complex pharmaceutical and medical device supply chains. Achieving VAWD accreditation helps to ensure that the licensed facility maintains its licensure in good standing, has security measures in place, and employs best practices for the safe delivery of prescription drugs between manufacturers and point of sale locations. VAWD accreditation is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

How is accreditation administered?

To earn VAWD accreditation, a facility undergoes a rigorous criteria compliance review process. This review process includes careful examination of the facility’s operating policies and procedures to determine adherence to quality processes and assess security measures in place to protect the drug supply. A survey of facility operations is included in this review. Facilities must also undergo screening through the NABP Clearinghouse, which stores information reported by member boards of pharmacy. This information can include a record of any action taken against a wholesale distributor or against any other entity involved in the supply chain. In essence, the NABP Clearinghouse is a house of record for any action that may have jeopardized a facility’s license or threatened the safety of the drug supply chain.

Do all states require VAWD accreditation?

Currently, VAWD accreditation is recognized by 24 states. Of these, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wyoming do require VAWD accreditation as a component of state licensure for pharmaceutical distribution to or within state lines. Once a facility has achieved VAWD accreditation for the 24 states requiring it, it is able to distribute to all 50 states.

Introducing Finished Goods Distribution for Pharmaceutical Products

This past summer, we introduced our newest service: Finished Goods Distribution for Pharmaceutical Products. Our proven excellence in distribution can now be applied to pharmaceutical products in addition to medical devices. Distribution is available to any state nationwide with assured compliance, since Millstone assumes the administrative responsibility to attain and maintain a license in any state requiring VAWD accreditation or state licensure.

With our strategic location in close proximity to one of the nation’s largest distribution hubs, our ability to provide expedited shipping, and our extended service hours, we can ensure that pharmaceutical products can reach any location in all 50 states on time, every time.

At Millstone, we get it. We believe quality drives patient success. That’s why we’ve perfected all the capabilities medical device manufacturers need to get to market. Today we offer post-manufacturing and aftermarket services to more than 50 customers, including some of the top 10 orthopedic companies in the world. We are constantly evolving our processes and services to help OEMs achieve sustainable success. We offer clean room packaging, medical device specific warehousing, finished goods distribution, loaner kit management, advanced inspection and reverse logistics services—all with an unparalleled focus on quality.

What could we help you do better? Learn more at


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