AmerisourceBergen says still delivering drugs during hurricane

Drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen operated Monday and plans to do the same Tuesday to deliver drugs to health-care facilities hit by Hurricane Sandy.

"This is an event where we had time to prepare, so the impact is less," AmerisourceBergen spokeswoman Nora Beger said. "Health systems took the time to prepare on supply issues."

AmerisourceBergen, which has its corporate headquarters in Chesterbrook, is one of the three biggest wholesale operators in the United States, with McKesson and Cardinal Health being the other two.

The company supplies big hospitals and also community drug stores.

AmerisourceBergen had executive staff and others who could work from home do so, but the workers at distribution centers, including one in Bethlehem, were still operating on site, Beger said.

Some drugs have longer shelf life than others, so AmerisourceBergen and other suppliers sometimes deliver on a daily basis.

"Our distribution centers have adequate supplies and we try to anticipate customer needs," Beger said.

Many hospitals and health-care facilities have backup power supplies in case the electricity is cutoff, and major drug suppliers are no different since some medication needs to be refrigerated.

"Our facilities have backup and we plan for such contingencies," Beger said. "We plan for power outages."