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Prescription Sales Through Healthcare Distributors Hit $268 Billion

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. prescription sales through primary healthcare distributors reached a total of $268 billion in 2010 — representing 87 percent of pharmaceutical sales in the country, according to the 2011–2012 HDMA Factbook.

Now in its 83rd edition, the 2011–2012 HDMA Factbook, published by the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research, is a comprehensive reference tool based on information gathered from the Healthcare Distribution and Management Association's (HDMA) members, covering a range of measures, including operations, finance, distributor demographics, information systems, delivery and returns, and customers. This year's edition is produced with support from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; RDC-Rochester Drug Cooperative, Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals; TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA; and, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

While 98 percent of traditional wholesale distributors' net sales were earned by distributing pharmaceutical products, the product mix within these sales continues to shift, the Factbook reports. Representing 76 percent of total distributor sales, branded pharmaceuticals sales have decreased; branded specialty pharmaceutical sales, on the other hand, increased slightly to 13.5 percent of these sales. Of particular note, generic drug sales are up by 8 percent from 2009, to represent 8.3 percent of total distributor sales.

These figures are consistent with the growth of generic introductions in the pharmaceutical marketplace as the industry nears the "patent cliff" (expected to continue in 2011 and peak in 2012) as well as the continued growth of the specialty pharmaceutical segment.  

The Factbook also reports on the day-to-day efficiencies distributors provide to the healthcare industry. On a typical business day in 2010, HDMA-member distribution centers processed an average of 1,965 orders and delivered more than 95,000 products to pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and other outlets nationwide. The net profit margin for distributors is 1.1 percent.  

"Despite a challenging economic climate, this year's Factbook demonstrates that distributors continue to do more with less while expanding their efficiencies and accommodating more products," said Karen J. Ribler, Executive Vice President and COO of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research. "It also paints a picture of the dynamic changes affecting the supply chain."  

"When I'm seeking to learn about the state of our industry, the HDMA Factbook is my go-to reference tool," said Tony Pera, Senior Vice President for Supply Chain Management at AmerisourceBergen Corporation and Chairman of the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research Board of Directors. "It is the only peer-reviewed resource that shows firsthand the efficiencies distributors deliver to the healthcare industry."    

The 2011–2012 HDMA Factbook: The Facts, Figures & Trends in Healthcare is now available for purchase for $95 (book) or $170 (book and data CD) through the HDMA Marketplace, at An electronic version also is available as a $95 download for all Kindle devices and applications through Amazon. For more information, visit the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research website at

About the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research
The Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that serves as the knowledge partner of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA). The Center serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on healthcare supply chain issues. The Center's mission is twofold: to conduct research and disseminate information that will enhance the knowledge base, efficiency and effectiveness of the total healthcare supply chain; and to provide thought leadership to further enhance the safety and security of the healthcare supply chain through future-focused study and programming.

About HDMA
HDMA is the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, the vital link in the healthcare system. Each business day, HDMA member companies ensure that nearly nine million prescription medicines and healthcare products are delivered safely and efficiently to nearly 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and others nationwide. HDMA and its members work daily to provide value and contain costs, saving the nation's healthcare system an estimated $32 billion per year. For more information, visit

SOURCE Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research
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