HDA: Pharmaceutical Distributors 2020 Sales Rose 6.6%
December 13, 2021
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.
Among the overall findings:
The average total number of SKUs that distributors held in inventory was 41,397 — a 9.3 percent decrease from 2019; approximately 80 percent of surveyed distributors stock personal protective equipment.
Approximately 83 percent of distributors with more than $1 billion in sales report scanning barcode labels on inbound from suppliers; all report scanning the NDC number and barcodes at the case and item levels. The industry’s information technology investments, meanwhile, now account for half of their total capital expenditures.
Total annual costs associated with the returns process averaged $5.6 million per company in 2020, an increase from $5.1 million in 2019. “Overstocked,” “damaged” or “outdated” products were the top reasons for returns to distributors and manufacturers, respectively.
Distribution centers handled an average of 4,234 orders per day, with an average of 11 lines per order and 65 percent of distributors used automated picking methods. Distributors’ continued investments in automation helped generate gains in efficiency and productivity at a time when other sectors faced headwinds.
Wages rose during 2020, with the typical healthcare distributor employee receiving $69,000 in compensation, compared with $64,000 in 2019.