Report IDs specialty pharma trends

Specialty pharma products have seen a speed-up in delivery times over the past year. The quicker pace shaves nearly five days, dropping to about 20 the number of in-transit days between when a customer places an order until the shipment arrives.

That's according to The Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research, an offshoot of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association. The researchers find also, in the 50-plus-page second edition of the specialty-pharma benchmarking report (2010 Specialty Pharmaceuticals: Facts, Figures and Trends) that oncology has grown its share among specialty products, rising to 59 percent of distributors' annual sales volume from 56 percent in 2009.

The center defines a specialty pharma product as typically biologically derived, costing more than $600 per month, and requiring special handling that includes cold chain storage and distribution. Such drugs often involve complex regimes for treating chronic or rare diseases.

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