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McKesson Canada Opens New State-of-the Art Distribution Centre in Surrey British Columbia

Supporting British Columbia’s Future Health

Surrey, BC (June 8, 2023) – To support British Columbia’s rising healthcare needs, McKesson Canada opens a new state-of-the-art, 233,000 square-foot facility in Surrey, British Columbia (BC). The new distribution centre (DC) delivers pharmaceutical medications, vaccines, specialty pharmaceuticals, and over-the-counter products to over 1,300 hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies across BC. McKesson Specialty Pharmacy on site manages complex specialty medications, providing quality care for patients across the province.



- New 233,000 square-foot facility ensures expanded capacity to support provincial medication delivery needs long-term and strengthens medication delivery infrastructure

- McKesson Canada’s new distribution centre features industry-leading automation to accelerate fulfillment and increase efficiency and productivity

- Integration of on-site Specialty Pharmacy campus ensures support in rise of complex therapies

As part of McKesson Canada’s distribution modernization plan, $175 million dollars was invested in the development and design of the Surrey DC to integrate industry-leading automation technology and strengthen efficiency and productivity. The DC uses best-in-class technology and processes to increase accuracy, protect against volume fluctuations and doubles potential capacity to over 235,000 units shipped daily. This investment ensures McKesson Canada can meet Canada’s rising need for complex specialized medications and respond to BC’s future healthcare demands, particularly the expected 63 per cent[i] rise in seniors over the next 20 years, who typically have more complex conditions.

“Today, we are showcasing our unwavering dedication to improve health outcomes of Canadians. From strategic concept to operations, McKesson Canada’s Surrey distribution centre is a showcase of innovation that blends the state-of-the-art technology and optimized processes that secure our capacity to support the growing healthcare needs of British Columbians for the long term,” said Joan Eliasek, President, McKesson Canada. “We take great pride in our investment in British Columbia and in our responsibility to deliver lifesaving medications reliably and safely across the province for many years to come.”


State-of-the-Art Technology, Processes and Automation

State-of-the-art automation technology enables more efficient and accurate product picking. The new DC utilizes a system that picks products from over 22,000 storage containers, delivering them directly to the operators who ensure quality and accuracy. The automation process allows for vast quantities of product to flow through the distribution system, with real-time monitoring and forecasting of required product volume levels. Picked products are released and sequenced according to delivery route, all through automation to ensure the right product gets to the right destination for precise just-in-time delivery.

Significant investment has also been made in cold chain storage to support Canada’s rising need for more complex medications that require fridge and freezer storage, such as COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Surrey DC is the last of McKesson Canada’s transformation and modernization initiatives in Western Canada, including building new Edmonton and Winnipeg DCs. Reaching this milestone means that McKesson Canada is prepared to support and react quickly in times of environmental crisis or emergencies like wildfires or flooding. Each McKesson Canada DC in Western Canada has contingency planning to be able to support provinces in the event of a disruption or crisis.


Bedrock of Community and Independent Pharmacy

Just-in-time delivery is a hallmark of the McKesson Canada distribution system, creating an infrastructure that allows for continual flow of goods into the community and reliable access to medication. McKesson Canada’s distribution system has been a key enabler for independent pharmacy. The modernization of the Surrey DC processes, tools and equipment support operational excellence and enhances our customer offering.

“The complexity of just-in-time delivery within an ecosystem that delivers much needed medication to every community in Canada, the next day, every day is extraordinary,” says Jean-Philippe Blouin, Senior Vice-President Pharmaceutical Distribution & Operations, McKesson Canada. “The value and enhanced features of our new Surrey distribution centre ensures that we provide reliable service and further demonstrates our commitment to our patients and our customers in BC.”


The Rise of Specialized Medication Needs

The use of specialty medications and therapeutic treatments for both acute and chronic care patients continues to rise in Canada. In 2021, specialty drugs had a 9.5 per cent growth rate compared to traditional drugs at 2.9 per cent.[ii] The innovative McKesson Specialty Pharmacy provides care to patients from a wide range of therapeutic specialties such as neurology, oncology, immunology and ophthalmology. Molecules are compounded on site in state-of-the-art cleanrooms where hazardous and non-hazardous medications are handled in sterile environments. The integration of the McKesson Specialty Pharmacy in the Surrey DC allows for more efficient access and delivery to patient’s homes, hospitals, and infusion clinics.


Environmental Focus

Situated on 14 acres of land, the new DC office space was designed with consideration for environmental sustainability.  The new DC features LED low energy lighting, low flow water fixtures, underground rainwater collection, native landscaping to support local birds and insects and electric vehicle charging stations.

The Surrey DC employs 180 people and supports additional jobs in partner businesses including transportation.


About McKesson Canada

McKesson Canada is a diversified healthcare services leader dedicated to advancing health outcomes for patients everywhere. Our teams partner with pharmaceutical companies, care providers, pharmacies, manufacturers, governments, and others to deliver insights, products and services to help make quality care more accessible and affordable. Learn more about how McKesson Canada is impacting virtually every aspect of healthcare at

For more information:  

[i] Ip, Frank and Lavoie, Sebastien. ”PEOPLE 2020: BC Sub-Provincial Population Projections.” Government of British Columbia, BC Stats.,

[ii]“2022 Drug Data Trends & National Benchmarks.” TELUS Health. Pg. 12, 

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