December 9, 2021
ARLINGTON, Va. — Data released by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Research Foundation indicate that despite the challenges of COVID-19, pharmaceutical distributors maintained efficiencies to deliver millions of vaccines and medicines to providers — and ultimately patients. Published today, the 92nd Edition HDA Factbook: The Facts, Figures & Trends in Healthcare provides benchmarks and trends for the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain.
For the first time, this year’s Factbook provides a view of the distribution industry during COVID-19. According to the research, in 2020, approximately 93 percent of all pharmaceutical sales continued to move through distributors, with 10.5 million units picked per day. Total sales grew at a rate of 6.6 percent to reach $570 billion. The industry maintained its high service levels on its lowest-ever reported margins, with distributors’ gross margins decreasing to 1.9 percent.
“For more than 90 years, the Factbook has quantified the significant value distributors bring to the healthcare industry, serving as the vital link between manufacturers and healthcare providers, pharmacies and other sites of care,” said Perry Fri, Executive Vice President of Industry Relations, Membership and Education, HDA; and COO of the HDA Research Foundation. “Despite the operational challenges brought on by the pandemic, the data show the distribution industry demonstrated resilience as they continued to deliver millions of products on a daily basis.”
The HDA Factbook is based on surveys collected at the corporate level of HDA traditional distributor member companies with annual sales greater than $1 billion, with secondary data included from healthcare and governmental organizations. Data reflect distribution industry performance metrics and overall supply chain management trends for the 2020 operating year.
Among the overall findings:
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.