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Operations Information
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DDP Operations Information

Overall Goals:

Provided $171 million of drugs at no cost to low-income Californians as equitably and accurately as possible.

Aimed to maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness for the participating pharmaceutical companies, participating clinics, and the administrator.

Drug Distribution Project (DDP) Participants

25 pharmaceutical companies

More than 200 nonprofit "safety net" outpatient clinics in California

Independent nonprofit organization providing DDP operations management and ongoing outreach to "safety net" clinics

DDP's Main Features

Distributed brand name drugs selected through negotiations with each company.

Emphasized electronics and efficiency, e.g., Internet-based order system, EDI order transmission, broadcast e-mails for most DDP communications.

Focused on "safety net" clinics with large numbers of indigent patients, e.g. community health centers, free clinics, county outpatient care clinics.

Required participating clinics to have demonstrated pharmacy management capacity as evidenced by an in-house pharmacy or licensed drug dispensary.

Assigned each participating clinic a "credit limit" based on most recent, documented indigent care levels.

Combined 25 companies' differing rules, product allocations, and product amounts into a system of access that is seamless from the clinic users' perspective.

Complemented drug distribution with general purchasing and dispensing education.

Each company made $X of its selected products available to indigent patients through DDP.

DDP verified that applicant clinic meets eligibility criteria.

Clinics used a customized, internet-based “DDP Order System” to request drugs up to the amount of their annual “DDP credit limit.”

DDP reviewed and sometimes adjusted requests, then electronically transmited batches of orders to pharmaceutical companies during designated "DDP order periods" that occured on designated dates approximately four months apart.

Most pharmaceutical companies shipped directly to clinics, using updated information from DDP administrator.

Project ended April 2003.

Pharmaceutical Companies
Product Availablity
(in millions)
Glaxo Wellcome; SmithKline Beecham $ 30
Merck $ 20
Pfizer; Warner Lambert $ 19
AHP/Wyeth $ 16
Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dupont $ 16
Eli Lilly $ 12
Upjohn $ 10
13 Other Companies-Total $ 48
DDP Total     $ 171

Drugs Offered

The DDP made available approximately 150 brand name drugs covering twenty-three therapeutic classes of value to outpatient clinics. http://www.medpin.org/pdf/py3druglist2.pdf Mental health drugs were the most requested and most quickly distributed items.


The clinics that received drugs through the DDP were (1) located in California, (2) part of a nonprofit or government-owned entity providing primary care or mental health care to indigent patients (3) owned and operated a pharmacy or state-licensed dispensary, and (4) documented to Medpin their compliance with eligibility criteria and operating rules.

More than 200 eligible organizations received DDP drugs, then dispensed them at no cost to their uninsured patients. Participants included free clinics, community clinics, freestanding county clinics, and outpatient clinics of county hospitals. They were located in rural, suburban, and urban areas throughout California and served patients of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Clinics also ranged greatly in size; for example, Los Angeles County Medical Center received more than 100 times total value of DDP drugs as Mt. Shasta Medical Clinic or Casa de Salud.

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