Retail pharmacies filled over 3 billion prescriptions in 2001

October 1, 2002

Pharmaceutical Representative

Retail pharmacies filled over 3 billion prescriptions in 2001 - for a total of $164 billion - according to a pharmacy industry profile created by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Retail pharmacies filled over 3 billion prescriptions in 2001 - for a total of $164 billion - according to a pharmacy industry profile created by the Alexandria, VA-based National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Chain pharmacies alone filled 63% of all prescriptions, or $102.7 billion. The profile also reveals that four out of every five patients leave the doctor's office with a prescription.

Since 1992, there has been a 50% increase in prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies. Using data from Fairfield, CT-based IMS Health, the NACDS projects community pharmacies will fill $188.5 billion worth of prescriptions in 2002, nearly a 15% increase from 2001 sales of $164 billion.

New findings

The report also found that:


•Â There are 34,900 chain pharmacies in the United States; chain pharmacies represent the largest component of retail pharmacy - filling over 70% of retail pharmacy prescriptions written in 2001.


•Â It is estimated that pharmacy benefit managers handle over 50% of all retail prescriptions in the United States.


•Â Prescription drug use is soaring because older Americans are increasingly relying on drug therapy to stay healthy. People age 75 and older get the most new prescriptions, an average of about 12 per person in 2000.


•Â The total number of new prescriptions written at outpatient offices for 2000 reached 2,019,123,388.


•Â Over the last six years, the percentage of prescriptions paid for in cash has dropped from 63% in 1990 to 18% in 2001.

"There is a neighborhood drug store within five miles of nearly every American, offering most consumers easy, convenient access to their trusted pharmacist," said Craig Fuller, NACDS president and chief executive officer. "This year's profile shows us that with the many challenges facing retail pharmacy today, from complicated insurance paperwork to state Medicaid reimbursement cuts, our industry remains a reliable health resource for consumers." PR

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