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What is a limited distribution drug (LDD)?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 23, 2022.

Official answer


Limited distribution drugs (LDD) are specialty drugs that are only available in certain specialty pharmacies. They are usually expensive and require special handling, monitoring, or administration. If you are prescribed an LDD then your doctor will set you up with a particular specialty pharmacy and they will handle your prescription from start to finish and organize the delivery of the drug directly to you.

What is a limited distribution network?

A limited distribution network is a contract between a manufacturer and one or a few specialty pharmacies to dispense specialty drugs. These pharmacies usually have highly trained and experienced personnel who can provide a seamless supply to ensure the best outcome for the patient. They have national accreditation and have to meet certain quality standards in addition to 24/7 call centers that provide follow-up.

What are some examples of limited distribution drugs?

There are over 500 LDDs, with over 75% of pharmaceutical manufacturers now choosing to limit the number of pharmacies that can dispense their medications. Examples of limited distribution drugs include:

  • Actemra
  • Aubagio
  • Cosentyx
  • Kesimpta
  • Kevzara
  • Keytruda
  • Otezla
  • Plegridy
  • Solvadi
  • Tarceva
  • Xtandi
  • Xywav.

For a list of LDDs available through CVS Specialty Pharmacies see here.

  • Pillai, Indu. Limited Distribution Drugs 101. Sept 27, 2019. Clarivate.
  • CVS Specialty® Pharmacy Distribution Drug List. July 2022. CVS Speciality

Drug information

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