Specialty distributor skillset quantified

New research shows that specialty drug distributors save the healthcare industry $3.5 billion compared with the cost projected when manufacturers and healthcare providers do the job. The savings reach $8 billion when researchers factor in traditional drug distributors that handle the cancer, biotech and other drugs requiring low-tolerance, in-transit conditions.

High-tech, cold-chain and just-in-time delivery skills separate specialty distributors from other drug handlers, says the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research, a foundation of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association. Consultant Arthur D. Little conducted the study.

Techniques for preserving delicate medicines and an array of value-added services further separate the specialists from traditional drug handlers.

Big-name distributors appear to be aware of the chink in their armor. Both AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal have proclaimed recently a specialty drug distribution objective, as reported Tuesday.

- see the release

Special Report: The Big 3 Distributors