Background Paper

Fundamentals of the Prescription Drug Market
August 24, 2004


Christie Provost Peters


This background paper is a primer on the prescription drug market. It provides information on the fundamentals of the pharmaceutical industry and various marketplace stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, consumers, regulators, researchers, and purchasers. This paper also examines the various ways the federal government interacts with the pharmaceutical market. Due to the breadth of material addressed, some complex issues and relationships are presented in broad conceptual terms without extensive technical detail.

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