Drug Wholesalers Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Drug Wholesalers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry serve as wholesale distributors of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and related products. Major companies include AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson (all based in the US), as well as Jointown Pharmaceutical (China), Medipal (Japan) and PHOENIX (Germany).

Aging populations worldwide drive demand for wholesale drug distribution. In addition, growing numbers of middle-class consumers will likely lead to expansion for the industry in countries such as India, China, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, and Russia.

The US drug wholesalers industry includes about 10,300 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $930 billion. The industry includes manufacturers' distribution units.


Demand for pharmaceutical distribution is driven by the need to treat illness and disease. The profitability of individual companies is determined by the efficient distribution of a wide variety of drugs and medications. Large companies compete intensely on price, size of generic drug portfolio, product volume and variety, and the quality of value-added support services such as supply chain management. Small companies can compete by focusing on rural areas, independent community pharmacies, or the distribution of drugs that have special handling requirements. The US pharmaceutical market is the largest pharmaceuticals market in the world and accounted for about 50% in 2020, according to GlobeNewswire.


Major products include specialty pharmaceuticals, which account for more than 40% of the industry revenue, followed by vaccines at about ...

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