J. Knipper breaks ground on a new Midwest distribution center

Leading samples-management provider expands westward

J. Knipper and Co. (Lakewood, NJ), the largest distributor of physicians’ samples in the US, is building a new distribution center in Charlestown, IN to complement its existing facilities in New Jersey. The new facility “will be optimized to manage Knipper’s high volume Direct to Practitioner (DTP) fulfillment business primarily for drug samples and medical devices … with warehouse and fulfillment capabilities to manage prescription, controlled substance, and cold chain products,” according to a company statement.

“Our new DC will be able to reach over 75% of the U.S. population with two-day ground service,” said Michael LaFerrera, president and COO. “And by extending our daily shipping window and reducing transit times we can increase our customers’ satisfaction by getting their product to their customers faster.” Both UPS and FedEx maintain sizable transportation centers not far from the new Knipper facility.

Although overshadowed by the buzz surrounding digital and mobile marketing efforts with physicians, the pharma industry is still deeply vested in sampling. Knipper’s focus on DTP alludes to the growing difficulty of pharma reps meeting physicians face to face, even while those physicians by and large are still very comfortable with sampling new drugs. Which is not to say that deliveries to reps, who in turn deliver samples to physicians, has disappeared; witness the growth of options for providing cold-chain storage to reps of biologics and other specialty products—the growth area of the industry.

The new facility is scheduled to open in May 2016.