How Does McKesson Make Money? Understanding the Revenue Streams of the Healthcare Giant

McKesson is one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the world, and it’s fair to wonder how they’re making money. After all, we often see headlines about drug prices being too high or the looming threat of online pharmacies. But for McKesson, the answer is surprisingly simple: they make money by providing a crucial link between drug manufacturers and healthcare providers.

It works like this: McKesson buys drugs from manufacturers at a wholesale price, then sells them to pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers at a markup. They also offer other services like logistics and technology solutions to help these businesses run efficiently. It’s a crucial part of the healthcare industry that many of us may not think about, but it’s a lucrative one for companies like McKesson that can navigate the complex regulations and logistics involved.

But like any industry, there are challenges too. With more pressure on healthcare providers to reduce costs, McKesson has to work hard to keep their prices competitive while still maintaining their margins. And there are always new players entering the field, from online pharmacies to startups looking to disrupt traditional distribution models. But for now, McKesson remains a powerhouse in the pharmaceutical world, thanks in part to their ability to provide essential services for an industry that’s always in demand.

McKesson’s Business Operations

McKesson is a pharmaceutical distributor that has been in business for over 185 years. The company operates in three segments: Distribution Solutions, Technology Solutions, and Medical-Surgical Solutions. Each segment caters to different healthcare needs and offers services that generate revenue for the company.

Distribution Solutions

  • Mckesson operates the largest pharmaceutical distribution network in North America. This segment generates revenue by distributing pharmaceuticals and other healthcare products to retail pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.
  • The company also offers logistics and supply chain management services to its customers, which includes inventory management, transportation, and delivery.
  • In addition to distribution, the company also offers clinical services such as drug utilization reviews and consultation with pharmacists to ensure that patients receive the right medication for their condition.

Technology Solutions

Mckesson’s Technology Solutions segment offers software and technology services to healthcare providers, payers, and patients. This segment generates revenue by offering software solutions that help improve the efficiency of healthcare providers and payers, reduce costs, and improve patient care.

  • The company offers EHR (Electronic Health Records) and Practice Management software that provides healthcare providers with digital access to patients’ medical records, appointment schedules, and billing information. This helps improve the efficiency of healthcare providers and reduces administrative tasks.
  • The company also offers payers software that helps them manage claims, care management, and member enrollment. This helps payers reduce costs and improve the quality of care they provide to their members.
  • For patients, the company offers solutions such as online prescription refill services, patient engagement tools, and telehealth solutions, which helps patients connect with their healthcare providers remotely.

Medical-Surgical Solutions

Mckesson’s Medical-Surgical Solutions segment offers surgical and medical supply products to healthcare providers, offering a one-stop-shop for their medical supply needs. This segment generates revenue by selling products such as surgical instruments, wound care products, and laboratory supplies to healthcare providers.

Products Medical-Surgical Solutions Revenue
Surgical instruments $8.3 billion
Wound care products $1 billion
Laboratory supplies $700 million

In conclusion, Mckesson’s diverse array of business operations helps the company generate significant revenue. The company’s market leadership in pharmaceutical distribution, technology solutions, and medical-surgical solutions positions it well to continue growing and providing healthcare solutions in the future.

McKesson’s Revenue Streams

McKesson is one of the largest global healthcare companies, providing pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and business and clinical services to hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare providers. The company’s revenue streams are diversified, with different business segments contributing to its overall earnings.

The Two Major Segments of McKesson’s Revenue Streams

  • Pharmaceutical solutions
  • Medical-surgical solutions

McKesson’s pharmaceutical solutions segment provides distribution, sourcing, and logistics services to pharmaceutical manufacturers, retail pharmacies, hospitals and clinics, and long-term care facilities. The company also offers software solutions that help manage prescriptions, medication adherence, and analytics. With a global network of distribution centers and pharmacies, McKesson serves as an intermediary between drug manufacturers and patients, and earns a profit through wholesale and retail margins.

Meanwhile, McKesson’s medical-surgical solutions segment provides medical supplies, equipment, and technology to hospitals and surgery centers across the United States. The company also offers clinical consulting and outsourcing services that include Revenue Management Solutions, located within the U.S. This Revenue Management Solution’s main services are insurance verification, prior authorization, and denials management. McKesson earns revenue through direct sales of medical and surgical products, and by providing value-added services and support. Based on their latest annual report, McKesson’s medical-surgical solutions segment accounted for $6.4 billion in revenue in 2020.

McKesson’s revenue streams are further augmented by its Technology Solutions segment and Specialty Health business, which provide information technology, biopharmaceutical, and oncology and fertility services.


McKesson generates significant revenue from providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical solutions to healthcare providers and patients. With its global network of distribution centers and pharmacies, the company earns a profit through retail and wholesale margins on prescription drugs and by providing direct sales of medical and surgical products. The company’s medical-surgical solutions segment is also a major contributor to its revenue.

Segment 2020 Revenue ($ billions)
Pharmaceutical Solutions 203.9
Medical-Surgical Solutions 6.4
Technology Solutions 3.0
Specialty Health 19.3

Overall, McKesson’s diverse range of revenue streams has helped it maintain a strong position in the healthcare industry, providing critical supplies and services to healthcare providers and patients around the world.

McKesson’s Financial Performance

McKesson Corporation is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world, providing healthcare services and products to customers across the globe. Here’s a closer look at how McKesson makes money:

Revenue Streams

  • Pharmaceutical Distribution: This is the primary revenue stream for the company, accounting for 91% of the total revenue in 2020. McKesson’s pharmaceutical distribution services include delivering prescription drugs, medical supplies, and health information technology to pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare providers.
  • Medical-Surgical Distribution and Services: This segment provides medical-surgical supplies, equipment, and technology to healthcare providers such as hospitals, surgery centers, and physician offices. This segment accounted for 5% of total revenue in 2020.
  • Technology Solutions: McKesson offers a range of technology services to healthcare providers, including clinical decision support systems, electronic health record systems, and revenue cycle management software. This segment accounted for 4% of total revenue in 2020.

Financial Performance Metrics

McKesson has consistently recorded strong financial performance over the years. Here are some key metrics:

  • Revenue: In the fiscal year 2020, the company reported $214.3 billion in revenue, representing a 6% increase from the previous year.
  • Net Income: In the fiscal year 2020, McKesson reported a net income of $1.7 billion, a significant improvement from the loss of $214 million in the previous year.
  • Cash Flow: The company generated $2.7 billion in cash flow from operations in the fiscal year 2020, a 41% increase from the previous year.
  • Profit Margin: McKesson’s profit margin has been consistently increasing over the years, reaching 1.3% in the fiscal year 2020.

Key Takeaways

McKesson’s success can be attributed to its dominant position in the pharmaceutical distribution market. The company’s strong financial performance is a result of its diversified revenue streams, with the majority of its revenue generated through pharmaceutical distribution. McKesson’s technology solutions segment is also growing rapidly, promising to provide further revenue streams for the company in the future.

Metric Fiscal Year 2020 Fiscal Year 2019
Revenue $214.3 billion $214.3 billion
Net Income $1.7 billion ($214 million)
Cash Flow from Operations $2.7 billion $1.9 billion
Profit Margin 1.3% (0.1%)

Overall, McKesson’s financial performance is impressive, and the company shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

McKesson’s Market Share

McKesson Corporation is one of the largest pharmaceutical distributors in the world. They generate revenue by distributing prescription and non-prescription drugs, medical supplies, and healthcare information technology products to pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. They generate a significant portion of their revenue through their market share in the United States healthcare industry.

  • McKesson has a dominant market share in the pharmaceutical distribution industry, with an estimated market share of 28% in 2020.
  • They also have a significant market share in healthcare information technology, with their software and services being used by over 70% of U.S. hospitals.
  • In addition to their domestic market share, McKesson has also expanded globally, with a presence in over 16 countries.

McKesson’s market share allows them to negotiate favorable pricing with drug manufacturers and other suppliers, giving them a competitive advantage over smaller distributors. This, in turn, allows them to offer their customers competitive pricing, leading to increased loyalty and repeat sales.

Below is a table showing McKesson’s revenue by business segment for the fiscal year 2021:

Business Segment Revenue (in billions)
Distribution Solutions $226.1
Technology Solutions $4.5
Medical-Surgical Solutions $5.2

As you can see, their Distribution Solutions segment, which includes pharmaceutical distribution, generates the majority of their revenue. However, their Technology Solutions and Medical-Surgical Solutions segments also contribute to their overall revenue.

McKesson’s Competitive Advantage

McKesson is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world, with a market capitalization of $24.5 billion as of June 2021. The company generates revenue primarily through its distribution business, which is the biggest in the U.S. healthcare industry. McKesson distributes drugs and medical products to hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare facilities throughout the country.

  • Scale: McKesson’s sheer size gives it a competitive advantage over smaller players in the healthcare distribution space. The company’s massive distribution network spans the entire U.S., allowing it to reach virtually every corner of the country. This scale also enables McKesson to negotiate better pricing and terms with suppliers, which further strengthens its competitive position.
  • Technology: McKesson has invested heavily in technology to optimize its supply chain and improve operational efficiency. For example, the company has developed an innovative “waveless” distribution system that uses real-time data and analytics to streamline order processing and minimize inventory costs. McKesson also offers a range of digital health solutions to help healthcare providers manage patient data more effectively.
  • Expertise: McKesson’s long history in the healthcare industry has allowed it to develop deep expertise in healthcare supply chain management. This expertise is crucial in a complex and highly regulated industry like healthcare, and gives McKesson a competitive edge over smaller players. The company’s experienced staff can navigate regulatory requirements and provide valuable insights to healthcare providers, helping them improve patient outcomes while reducing costs.

In addition to its core distribution business, McKesson also generates revenue through its technology solutions and specialty pharmaceutical businesses. The table below shows how these segments contributed to the company’s revenue in fiscal year 2020:

Segment Revenue
Distribution Solutions $207.7 billion
Technology Solutions $5.9 billion
Specialty Pharmaceutical $11.7 billion

Overall, McKesson’s competitive advantage stems from its size, technology, and expertise in the healthcare industry. These factors have enabled the company to build a dominant position in the distribution space and expand into other areas of healthcare, positioning it well for future growth.

McKesson’s Growth Strategies

McKesson, a healthcare and pharmaceutical distribution company, operates with growth strategies designed to increase revenues and improve operational efficiency.

Acquisitions and Partnerships

  • McKesson has a history of acquiring companies to expand its portfolio and increase market share. In 2019, it acquired the medical distribution unit of CVS Health for $735 million, further solidifying its position in the healthcare industry.
  • Partnerships with pharmaceutical companies also help drive revenue growth. For example, in 2018, McKesson partnered with Walgreens Boots Alliance to negotiate better pricing and efficiencies in their supply chain.
  • International expansion is also a growth strategy for McKesson. In 2018, it acquired the pharmaceuticals business of German company Celesio AG, gaining a larger presence in Europe.

Digital Transformation

McKesson has invested heavily in digitizing its operations and supply chain to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The company’s One Stop platform provides customers with a single online portal to manage all of their purchasing and inventory needs. This digitization also allows the company to better analyze and predict market trends.

Optimizing Logistics

McKesson has embraced a logistics optimization strategy that seeks to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. Automated warehousing and transportation management systems allow for more efficient delivery of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, reducing costs and improving the customer experience.

Key Logistics Initiatives Description
Centralized Distribution Centers Consolidating multiple distribution centers into centralized hubs reduces costs and improves delivery times.
Cross-Docking Facilities Direct shipment of goods from suppliers to customers without storing items in a warehouse reduces handling and storage costs.
Transportation Management Systems Automated systems for managing shipping routes and scheduling helps optimize logistics and reduce transportation costs.

Focus on Specialty Care

McKesson recognizes the growing demand for specialized healthcare services and has focused on expanding its offerings in this area. The company has invested in specialty pharmacies that cater to patients with complex medical needs, such as cancer or rare diseases. This strategy allows McKesson to differentiate itself from competitors and capture a larger share of the growing specialty care market.

McKesson’s Strategic Partnerships

One of the cornerstones of McKesson’s success has been its ability to strategically partner with other companies to create mutually beneficial relationships. Here are some examples:

  • Pharmaceutical companies – McKesson partners with numerous pharmaceutical companies to distribute their products across the country.
  • Hospital systems – McKesson works with hospital systems to provide supply chain management services and technology solutions.
  • Technology companies – McKesson partners with technology companies to develop and implement innovative solutions for healthcare providers.

McKesson’s partnerships provide a win-win situation for both parties involved. For example, McKesson’s distribution partnerships with pharmaceutical companies allow them to reach a broader customer base, while providing McKesson with a source of revenue.

In addition to these types of partnerships, McKesson has also made strategic acquisitions of companies, such as CoverMyMeds and RxCrossroads, to expand its offerings and capabilities in the healthcare market.

Partner Initiative
Walgreens Boots Alliance Established a joint venture to create a worldwide purchasing alliance, which provides more efficient procurement of branded and generic drugs.
Aetna Partnered to develop a new healthcare platform that uses data analytics to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
Omnicell Partnered to integrate McKesson’s supply chain management technology with Omnicell’s medication management solutions to improve medication safety and inventory management in hospital systems.

These partnerships and acquisitions demonstrate McKesson’s commitment to providing comprehensive solutions to its customers in the healthcare industry. By leveraging the strengths of other companies and integrating them with its own, McKesson is able to offer a unique value proposition that sets it apart from competitors.

How Does McKesson Make Money: FAQs

1. What is McKesson’s primary source of revenue?

McKesson primarily makes money from distribution and delivery of pharmaceutical and medical products to hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare providers. They also earn revenue from technology solutions and services.

2. How does McKesson’s technology solutions contribute to its revenue?

McKesson’s technology solutions, which include electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, and revenue cycle management, generate revenue through software licensing, maintenance, and implementation services.

3. How does McKesson generate revenue through pharmaceutical distribution?

McKesson operates a vast distribution network through which it distributes pharmaceuticals and medical products to healthcare providers. They earn revenue through fees charged for distribution and delivery services.

4. What is McKesson’s approach to cost reduction and efficiency?

McKesson focuses on reducing costs through its supply chain management and inventory optimization. They also offer consulting services to help healthcare providers optimize their processes and reduce costs.

5. How does McKesson compete with other companies in the healthcare industry?

McKesson competes with other companies in the healthcare industry by offering a comprehensive suite of products and services, including pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and technology solutions, at competitive prices.

6. What is McKesson’s strategy for growth and expansion?

McKesson focuses on expanding into new markets and geographies through strategic acquisitions and partnerships. They also invest in research and development to stay ahead of industry trends and innovation.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into how McKesson generates revenue. As a leader in the healthcare industry, McKesson continues to innovate and expand its offerings to meet the evolving needs of healthcare providers and patients. Thanks for reading, and please visit us again for more informative content!