Magazine article Drug Topics

Trio of Factors Slows Down Rate of Rx Sales Gains

Magazine article Drug Topics

Trio of Factors Slows Down Rate of Rx Sales Gains

Article excerpt

Hit by fewer new drug approvals, skimpier price increases, and more generic substitution, U.S. pharmaceutical sales grew by only 10.7% in 1993, the lowest growth rate in five years, according to the latest class-of-trade analysis.

Overall, U.S. drug manufacturers posted sales of $62 billion last year, according to a study by IMS America, a Dun & Bradstreet Co. that tracks about 98% of the domestic market. Based in Totowa, N.., the firm reports on the dollar amounts that manufacturers charge wholesalers and chain warehouses.

Pharmacy's big three--chains, hospitals, and independents--maintained their hold on the U.S. market, accounting for $42 billion in manufacturers' coffers. Chains led the way, resulting in sales of $15.3 billion, up 9.7% from 1992, while hospital sales grew to $13.7 billion, up 8.9% over the preceding year. Sales to independents grew by 4.5% to $13 billion.

On the down side for the big three, their market share continued to erode, dropping from 69.4% in 1992 to 67.4% last year. Only chain drugstores were able to reverse a six-year downward trend in market share by inching ahead from 24.5% in 1992 to 24.6% last year.

Other retail categories posted significant market share increases for 1993. …

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