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Prescription drugs are the main drivers in this effort
According to the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Research Foundation, approximately 94% of pharma sales were completed through healthcare distributors in 2021. As reported in the 93rd Edition HDA Factbook, sales through traditional healthcare distributors rose by a record-high 9.4% to reach $598.7 billion, as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its second year.
Prescription drugs make up the majority (98%) of distributors' sales, split among sales of brand-name drugs (55.3%), branded specialty (33.7%), generic drugs (7.8%), generic specialty (0.6%), and biosimilar products (0.7%). Chain drug stores (34.3 percent) remain distributors' largest customer segment, followed by hospitals and HMOs (18%), and independent pharmacies (11.8%). While healthcare distributors continue to provide high service levels to customers, industry profit margins continued a seven-year downward trend, falling to a new record low of 0.3% after taxes.
“The significant increase in sales moving through traditional distributors reflects the economic and public health dynamics of 2021. As the latest HDA Factbook illustrates, delivery of essential medicines and healthcare products remained resilient and reliable despite market pressures,” notes Perry Fri, EVP of industry relations, membership, and education; and COO, HDA Research Foundation.
The 93rd Edition HDA Factbook: The Facts, Figures & Trends in Healthcare (2022-2023) is available as a complimentary download from HDA.org, and one can read more about the 2021 operating year Factbook data here.