Publication | BRG

Revisiting the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: 2013-2018

Aaron Vandervelde and Andrew Brownlee

January 9, 2020

In 2017, BRG professionals published a white paper studying the flow of dollars in the US pharmaceutical marketplace and how total spending on brand medicines at the point of sale is distributed across stakeholders that make up the US pharmaceutical supply chain. Since publication of that study, spending on prescription medicines in the US has continued to grow, and many of the market dynamics in place during the period of the original study (2013 through 2015) have persisted from 2016 through 2018. In this update to our original study, we seek to better understand which trends have continued, which new trends have emerged, and how the distribution of total point of sale brand medicine spending across the supply chain has evolved over the last three years.

For purposes of this paper, we narrow our focus to total spending on brand medicines, which we define as the sum of payments for brand medicines made by patients and their health plans at the point of sale (e.g., the pharmacy, outpatient hospital) prior to any rebate, discount, or fee provided by manufacturers. By using this starting point, the analysis makes it possible to measure prescription drug spending by consumers, health plans, government payers, and employers, and the portion thereof realized by manufacturer and non-manufacturer stakeholders.

Read the paper.

This study was funded by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.


Related Professionals

Aaron Vandervelde

Managing Director

Washington, DC

Andrew Brownlee


Washington, DC