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Prescription Drug Supply Chains: An Overview of Stakeholders and Relationships

Publication Date
Andrew W. Mulcahy and Vishnupriya Kareddy

Many stakeholders and steps are involved in the life cycle of a prescription drug as it moves from chemical synthesis and formulation through dispensing or administration to patients. The specific steps involved in prescription drug supply chains often differ depending on the type of drug, the channel of distribution, and the patient’s source of prescription drug coverage. This report describes the stakeholders involved in prescription drug supply chains and the flows of products, payments, and information between stakeholders. Although this report presents a typical supply chain for retail pharmacy drugs, it also highlights the important supply chain distinctions for specific distribution channels and for specific types of drugs. This report is intended to be a reference for those interested in the prescription drug industry and pharmaceutical policy and economics.

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