The Big Interview

‘Why we used boxes from the local pizzeria to trial delivery of Covid-19 vaccines’ – PHX Ireland’s Paul Reilly

The chief executive of PHX Ireland on how the state sets the price for most drugs, his concern over the burnout of pharmacists and why they are leaving the retail sector

Paul Reilly: ‘If someone started to picket our gate or stop the transfer moving in or out, that would mean the vaccines couldn’t leave’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

In late 2020, while Ireland’s Covid response was at the point of trying to get as many vaccines into the country as possible, Paul Reilly was ordering from a local pizzeria to fulfil his part in the supply chain.

As chief executive of Phoenix Group, which includes United Drug, Reilly is the head of one of the largest distributors of medicine here and was the sole supplier of Covid-19 vaccines into Ireland.

“We heard that ...