Obtaining Industry Control: The Case of the Pharmaceutical Distribution Industry

by William Boulton, Sharon Oswald

Fall 1995

Volume 38
Issue 1

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In most industries, distributors have lost considerable power and position to large retailers who purchase directly from manufacturers. In contrast, U.S. pharmaceutical wholesalers have gained over 75 percent of the pharmaceutical prescription market during a time when consolidation is paramount in the health care industry. This article shows how niche and differentiation strategies have been used successfully by six industry contenders to achieve this level of dominance.

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