by Wolf Richter
The sector is booming, but it’s a costly boom.
In the sluggish US economy, the goods-producing sector has been in decline since late 2014, but sales in its biggest sub-sector are booming: medicines.
Drugs are a physically small part of the goods-producing economy. But in terms of dollars, they’re the elephant in the room: According to the wholesales report by the Commerce Department, total drug sales by manufacturers to pharmacies, hospitals, and others in the distribution chain jumped 11.3% from a year ago (not seasonally adjusted) to $54.3 billion.