Latest HDA Factbook outlines supply chain trends

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Illustrates that majority of pharma sales were made through organization’s traditional distributor network

Data published yesterday by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Research Foundation revealed that in 2019, approximately 93% of all US pharma sales were completed through HDA-member traditional pharmaceutical distributors. As reported in the 91st Edition HDA Factbook, total distributor sales were $519 billion.

The Factbook is based on surveys collected at the corporate level of HDA traditional distributor member companies with yearly sales greater than $1 billion, along with secondary data included from healthcare and governmental organizations. The data reflect distribution industry performance metrics and overall supply chain management trends for the 2019 operating year; it should be noted that this edition does not reflect the effects of Covid-19 on supply chain operations.

Prescription drugs accounted for about $420 billion of distributors’ overall pharmaceutical sales, representing a nearly 6% growth over 2018—distributors worked with more than 1,400 manufacturer suppliers.


Among the other findings:

  • On a typical business day, each traditional distribution center picked more than 105,000 SKUs and processed about 4,000 orders.
  • The average total amount of SKUs that distributors held in inventory was 45,645; prescription medicines represented 76% of total lines picked, with non-prescription drugs (health and personal care products, general merchandise and durable medical equipment and home healthcare) making up the remaining 24%.
  • Forty percent of distributors are currently using EPCIS 1.2—a GS1 standard that allows partners to gather content about supply chain events—for serialized data exchange (a requirement for 2023 Drug Supply Chain Security Act interoperability), with 60% reporting they plan to do so in the next 12 months.